Patenting Ideas and Technology

Social Media

Patent Your Social Media Tech Invention

The term “social media” broadly refers to websites and mobile applications that enable users to create and share content. In the 20+ years since the first recognizable social media site, Six Degrees, was created in 1997, the social media market has evolved and expanded dramatically. It seems that every day a new social media app or site is launched, or integrated into a formerly “static” website. From relationship-based networks such as Facebook, to discussion sites such as Quora, from bookmarking to photo sharing, there is a social media platform for every possible interest and demographic. The barrier to entry for new social media inventions has been lowered since because of the relatively low cost of development, and user adoption has grown rapidly, as more consumers are comfortable and familiar with creating and sharing content online.

Types of social media sites and apps include:

  • Relationship Networks
  • Media Sharing Networks
  • Video Hosting Sites
  • Sharing Economy Networks
  • Social Review Sites
  • Discussion Forums
  • Social Publishing Platforms
  • Bookmarking
  • Interest-Based Networks

Why patent my social media technology?

SmartInsights.com reports that the number of global social media users accounted for in 2019 is approximately 3.5 billion people, representing a significant 9% increase from just the year before.

With such a huge audience, so many innovators are trying to invent social media improvements, or vastly new ideas.  What used to be an activity that users participated in for fun, is now pervading society in much more impactful ways.  From e-commerce to gaming to news, social media has become a “one-stop shop” for many users.  

Yet, it is only recently that social media apps and websites have started to go beyond the traditional advertising model.  These new advances often involve fierce competition to be at the forefront – especially when it comes to intellectual property rights.  

With companies racing to patent their next big social media idea, it is imperative to protect your investment in your social media technology.  Otherwise, all of that R&D will have been for naught.

Can i patent my social media website or social media app?

The answer is that certain features of a social media website or social media app may potentially be patented, but it will depend on a number of factors.  The vast majority of social media ideas are considered to be “software inventions” by the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO).  As such, the USPTO will typically impose additional requirements on a patent application for a social media idea as compared to an invention that has nothing to do with software, the proverbial can opener. 

Such additional requirements can be challenging, yet not necessarily impossible to overcome.  A registered USPTO patent attorney that has a software engineering background and experience in patenting software inventions may be able to help you navigate through the additional challenges of obtaining a patent for your social media invention. 

What experience does your firm have in patenting social network inventions?

Patent Ingenuity is a patent law firm with extensive experience in patenting social network inventions.  Yet, possibly of even greater importance, Patent Ingenuity has experience in patenting where social networking is going.

The future of social media clearly does not just rest in a conventional social network; rather, social networking is just the centerpiece that will no longer connect just friends, but also other technologies:

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Accordingly, patenting social media technology now involves a multi-faceted understanding of not just social networking technology, but also a wide variety of other technologies, and how those other technologies may be integrated into a social media platform. 

Why is your firm well suited to patent social media inventions?

Patent Ingenuity is a patent law firm based in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Los Angeles, which has extensive experience with patenting social media patent applications, and those that will likely be intertwined with social media in the future.  A registered USPTO patent attorney, with a software engineering background, can help you strategize how to best protect your social networking idea. 

Preparing not just for how a social media invention may be impactful today, Patent Ingenuity strives to help clients patent variations of their social media ideas that include the integrated technologies of tomorrow (artificial intelligence, payments technology, media distribution technology, gaming, augmented reality, virtual reality, blockchain, etc.).  A seasoned patent lawyer, who is experienced in patenting software inventions such as social media ideas, can be available to provide you with an initial assessment of your Social Media invention.

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