Digital Marketing

What is a Technology Patent?

In an era characterized by sophisticated technological devices and the battle to own the platforms, entrepreneurs are wise to learn about technology patents. Being the person to invent a specific concept or idea is great, but to legally own it, you need to hold a specific patent.

Delving deeply into intellectual property law is beyond the scope of this humble article. Still, a basic approach recognizes three types of patents: design, plant, and utility patents. 

Technologists and digital disruptors need to focus on the aspects of their work that can be patented, which isn’t always easy to determine.

What Can Be Patented?

Inventors can patent physical, tangible parts of digital technology, such as an electronic sensor or a CPU chip. However, things get more confusing when the inventions become less tangible but not impossible.

Here is a list of technologies that can be patented:

  • Operating systems
  • Technology coding relating to a more significant invention like an operating system or software
  • Algorithms meant for a specific purpose (ex., search engine algorithms)
  • User interfaces
  • Management systems
  • Computer security or encryption
  • And more

In practice, things may get a bit messier when you categorize your specific invention under one of these headings. It’s hard to say without knowing the particulars because any definitive statement requires legal expertise.

If you have any questions about a specific thing you’re looking to patent, speak to a legal specialist in this area.

Examples of Successful Digital Patents

A lot can be learned from what digital disrupters have managed to patent. Everyone throws buzzwords around when it comes to tech, but not everybody has legal patents to back them up.

Disruptor Regan McGee, for one, holds patents around blockchain and Natural Language Processing that drive his real estate technology platform, Nobul. These unique patents mean that his app can deliver levels of service that rivals can’t.

McGee realized that homebuyers were paying needlessly high agent commissions, so he built a consumer-centric platform that disrupted how real estate had been conducted for decades. “We’ve massively simplified the process. People think buying and selling real estate is complicated, but that’s just a way for agents to justify their fees.”

If you’re looking to change how a sector operates, you need to deliver meaningful impacts to customers, so they can’t ignore the value proposition. In Nobul’s case, buyers have easy access to real estate agents who meet their needs and offer vital incentives, like cash back or free additional services. It also helps to hold technological patents, stopping copycats in their tracks.

Technology is an exciting space because there are so many new ideas circulating, and the financial stakes are high. When a person invents something out of thin air that impacts an entire sector, it’s only fair that they get credit and ownership over it. Keep the above insights about patents and digital disruption in mind, and hopefully, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an impactful thought leader.

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