What do I need to have completed in order to submit a patent application for an Iphone Android app? 5 Answers as of February 10, 2011

I want to patent a android/Iphone application idea that I have. What do I need to have completed in regards to the app in order to submit a patent application. Example, do I need to have visuals of the software, or can I just have the main idea and functions of the software?

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Kafantaris Law Group
Kafantaris Law Group | Theo Kafantaris
What is required is a clear and thorough description of the invention, including drawings, flowcharts, or any other diagrams necessary to enable a person having ordinary skill in the art to practice the invention. These types of applications are more complex than others, so I highly suggest you contact a patent attorney to ensure your application is drafted properly. I specialize in software patents, so feel free to contact me if you would like to proceed.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/10/2011
Michael M. Ahmadshahi
Michael M. Ahmadshahi | Michael M. Ahmadshahi, Ph.D., Esq.
A patent application must include enough information so as to enable someone of the same skill as you to make the invention. Therefore, your question depends on the complexity of the invention. The more complex your invention, the more you need to write about it in the application, functions, drawings, structures, and methods by which the invention can be put to use.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/24/2011
Malhotra Law Firm, PLLC
Malhotra Law Firm, PLLC | Deepak Malhotra
It depends on what you feel is novel. The novelty might reside in a general concept or it could reside in menu order or screen details. You are allowed to have multiple claims in a patent and each one is an alternative. If any one is infringed, the patent is infringed. So it is a good idea to claim a concept of general concepts and also more detailed concepts.

The requirement is that you disclose enough information to enable someone of ordinary skill in art to make and use the invention. This can often be done when you have a conceptual idea.

It is usually a good idea to at least be able to provide a high level flowchart to your patent attorney.

Keep in mind that, to be valid, a U.S. patent application must be filed within one year of the earliest sale, offer for sale, or publication. Other countries require filing prior to any disclosure.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 1/24/2011
Fish & Associates, PC
Fish & Associates, PC | Robert D. Fish
The requirements for filing the particular application you asked about are the same as for any other patent application.

Every patent application must have a disclosure that satisfies enablement, best mode, and written description requirements. All applications should have claims, but utility applications must have at least one claim. Drawings can be informal, but must show all features of any apparatus claims. If screen shots are needed to show the inventive features, then you need screen shots. For small entities (less than 500 employees in the company or in any company to which there is a duty to assign), provisional applications have a filing fee of $110, and utility applications have a filing fee of about $462 (with additional fees for more than 20 claims, or more than 3 independent claims, or multiply dependent claims).
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/24/2011
Mark S. Hubert PC
Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
You must describe in detail what you think you have. You must disclose how to make and how to use it as well as the best mode of use. Drawings are only necessary if you need them to describe it. I would suggest flow charts instead.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 1/24/2011
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