Software Partnership

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has formed a partnership with the software community to enhance the quality of software-related patents (Software Partnership). The Software Partnership is an opportunity to bring stakeholders together through a series of roundtable discussions to share ideas, feedback, experiences, and insights on software-related patents.




>> Glossary Initiative

>> Prior Art Search

Federal Register Notices

  • "Glossary Pilot Program," 79 Fed.Reg. 17137 (March 27, 2014) [TEXT] [PDF]
  • "Request for Comments Regarding Prior Art Resources for Use in the Examination of Software-Related Patent Applications," 79 Fed.Reg. 644 (January 6, 2014) [TEXT] [PDF]
  • "Request for Comments and Notice of Roundtable Events for Partnership for Enhancement of Quality of Software-Related Patents" 78 Fed.Reg. 292 (Jan. 3, 2013) [TEXT] [PDF]


Prior Meetings and Roundtables


  • Alexandria, VA (2015OCT21)
    The USPTO hosted an all-day Software Partnership and Partnering in Patents event.  The morning focus session featured an interactive group discussion on tools for quality enhancements and the afternoon program included USPTO initiatives, functional claiming, 35 U.S.C. § 101 and patent quality. 
  • Alexandria, VA (2014JUL22)
    The USPTO hosted a roundtable discussion on the details of four examiner training modules on functional language, that were delivered in the past year and provided an opportunity for an interactive discussion on the goals and effectiveness of the training. A stakeholder presentation on claim clarity followed.
  • Alexandria, VA (2013DEC05)
    The USPTO hosted a roundtable discussion on the USPTO's prior art searching techniques and tools. At the roundtable, the USPTO spoke on the prior art resources currently utilized by examiners and listened to external speakers and the public on additional prior art resources and improved search techniques.
  • U.C. Berkeley School of Law, Berkeley, CA (2013OCT17)
    The USPTO held a roundtable discussion at U.C. Berkeley School of Law about strategies for improving claim clarity through the use of glossaries that included presentations from the USPTO and members of the public.

2013 Listening Sessions:

To kick-off the Software Partnership, the USPTO sponsored two events in February. The events had identical agendas and provided a forum for the public to offer input on topics within the purview of the USPTO, such as enhancing the quality of software-related patents through implementing best practices in patent application preparation and utilizing the existing statutory framework to improve examination.

  • New York City Roundtable (2013FEB27)
  • Silicon Valley Roundtable (2013FEB12)