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Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
1,020 Views

How to know if my code is patentable

Hi All, 

 

I'm sure this question surfaced many times before. 

My question is, how can I know if my work can be patentable, or alternatively be offered as an IP? 

 

References would be much appreciated, 

Refael.
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8 Replies
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
33 Views

IP=library so you can sell it as black box 

 

Patent is another matter..
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
33 Views

Ive never heard this question. Ive also never seen anyone patent an fpga or ip for an fpga. Good luck.

Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
33 Views

if you want to protect your intellectual property then a patent is not practically that protective. It is costly and you need to apply in each country I believe. 

 

Best is to physically protect it yourself e.g. through encrypted netlist. 

 

For a patent you need to make claim of what is new part of the design and legal wording could be hard and you may need to pay agencies for that.  

It must also not be any algorithm/implementation known in public domain or anything that is too obvious to be regarded as new. 

 

Just some thoughts. 

 

Alternatively approach a manufacturer without a patent giving then vague description and hoping they might just buy it from you or share royalty. This hard way. Dyson approached vacuum cleaner companies in the 80s (I think) and they rejected his ideas then regretted not buying them off to kill them.
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
33 Views

 

--- Quote Start ---  

Hi All, 

 

I'm sure this question surfaced many times before. 

My question is, how can I know if my work can be patentable, or alternatively be offered as an IP? 

 

References would be much appreciated, 

Refael. 

--- Quote End ---  

 

 

No, code is not patentable. You can copyright it but not patent it. 

 

You patent an idea - code is an implementation of an idea but not the idea itself. 

 

Selling it outright or distributing as encrypted IP - as mentioned by others - is probably better.
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
33 Views

 

--- Quote Start ---  

 

 

For a patent you need to make claim of what is new part of the design and legal wording could be hard and you may need to pay agencies for that.  

It must also not be any algorithm/implementation known in public domain or anything that is too obvious to be regarded as new. 

 

 

--- Quote End ---  

 

 

That is exactly my point. 

How can I know if my code/algorithm is not that obvious, so that protecting it would be worth it. 

 

 

--- Quote Start ---  

 

Best is to physically protect it yourself e.g. through encrypted netlist. 

 

--- Quote End ---  

 

What do you mean by 'encrypted netlist'? I've never heard of it before. 

Can you provide examples/references for further investigation? 

 

Thank you all for your answers, 

Refael.
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
33 Views

 

--- Quote Start ---  

That is exactly my point. 

How can I know if my code/algorithm is not that obvious, so that protecting it would be worth it. 

 

--- Quote End ---  

 

 

That is matter of case by case and a judge. I believe you can make any claims but it is up to a judge to decide if an issue arises in future. 

Remember a patented idea/algorithm implies no body else should use it without your permission. So I will ask myself "is that realistic?". 

For example if somebody claims a counting algorithm based on a prbs as his idea then this may sound new but do you really prevent others from coming to same algorithm independently. Google around and you will have the feel. 

 

you can also research patent records from their offices around the world!! 

 

As to actual code text then I believe it is issue of copyright just like a book. 

 

 

--- Quote Start ---  

 

What do you mean by 'encrypted netlist'? I've never heard of it before. 

Can you provide examples/references for further investigation? 

 

Thank you all for your answers, 

Refael. 

--- Quote End ---  

 

 

Google "encrypted netlist" and this takes you to the software world and GUI issues for your ip. 

 

In short it is not worth it. Keep it secret and try build your own business around it, if useful I will ask for a share to my pension. 

 

Good Luck
Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
33 Views

Many ip cores you buy come as encrypted source code. But to be honest, your code is pretty useless if there is no market for it

Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor I
33 Views

Agree with Tricky. If you take a look at the IP sold by Altera, the important portion of the IP is generally encrypted. This is one way to protect your hard work.

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