Can someone get a patent on cloud technology?

There are many aspects of cloud technology that could lead to a patent. “[A]ny new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof” is eligible for a patent. Within the cloud environment, potential areas for patenting include the server technologies and networking technologies, as well as any of the software layers (e.g., operating system, middleware layers, and application services).  

Are there any other forms of intellectual property protection for the Cloud?

Yes! There are many options available to provide protection for cloud technology. As already mentioned, patents are a viable mechanism for protecting the inventive ideas in your technology. Copyrights are also available to protect your code, while trade secrets can protect your proprietary algorithms. Also consider trademarks, which can protect your product names and branding in the marketplace.  

Am I required to obtain intellectual property protection?

Nothing requires you to obtain intellectual property protection. However, the decision on whether to obtain intellectual property protection is a question of priorities and budget. Obtaining patents can provide a barrier of entry into your market, as well as a marketing tool. Patents may also serve as negotiating leverage in the event someone brings a patent claim against you. Copyrights and trade secrets may provide protection against someone who steals your code or uses your software in an unauthorized manner.  

What role does intellectual property play in a Cloud company’s valuation?

In today’s knowledge-based economy, intellectual property may be one of the most valued assets of a Cloud-based company. Investors and buyers will want to know about the extent and scope of a company’s intellectual property program and whether you have taken the right kind of steps to protect the company’s most valuable assets.