Software Patent Examples: 45 Patents That Made the Modern World

The internet has revolutionized the way we communicate, work, and interact with each other, and there have been many important software patents that have played a key role in that development.

Originally posted on January 1, 2023 @ 3:03 pm

The internet has revolutionized the way we communicate, work, and interact with each other, and there have been many important software patents that have played a key role in that development. Here are some important software patents that have helped shape the cyber world as we know it:

1. TCP/IP Patent

This patent, granted in 1981, covered the technology behind TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol), which is the foundation of the internet and is used to transmit data between computers on the network.

2. HTML Patent

This patent, granted in 1993, covered the technology behind HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), which is the standard markup language used to create web pages.

3. GIF Patent

Granted in 1987, the GIF patent covered the technology behind the GIF (Graphics Interchange Format), which revolutionized the way images were displayed on the internet and was widely used in the early days of the World Wide Web.

4. Java Patent

This 1996 patent covered the technology behind the Java programming language, which is widely used for developing web applications and other software.

5. Amazon One-Click Patent

This patent, granted in 1999, allowed customers to make purchases with just one click, making online shopping much more convenient and revolutionizing e-commerce.

6. Google PageRank Patent

This patent, granted in 1998, covered the technology behind Google’s PageRank algorithm, which revolutionized the way search engines ranked web pages and is still a key part of Google’s search algorithm today.

7. SSL/TLS Patent

This patent, granted in 1994, covered the technology behind SSL/TLS (Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security), which is used to encrypt data sent over the internet, providing secure communication between users and websites.

8. RSA Patent

The RSA encryption patent, which was granted in 1983, was one of the first software patents ever issued. The patent was granted to Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Leonard Adleman, the creators of the RSA encryption algorithm. The RSA encryption algorithm is still widely used today in various applications, including online banking, e-commerce, and email encryption.

9. Facebook News Feed Patent

This patent, granted in 2011, covered the technology behind Facebook’s News Feed, which is the central feature of the social media platform that displays updates from friends and pages that a user follows.

10. Twitter Hashtag Patent

This patent, granted in 2013, covered the technology behind Twitter’s use of hashtags, which are keywords or phrases preceded by the # symbol that allow users to easily search and follow specific topics on the platform.

11. LinkedIn Algorithm Patent

This patent, granted in 2017, covered the technology behind LinkedIn’s algorithm, which is used to personalize the content that users see in their feeds and search results.

12. Instagram Filters Patent

This patent, granted in 2012, covered the technology behind Instagram’s popular photo filters, which allow users to apply different visual effects to their photos before sharing them on the platform.

13. Snapchat Geofilters Patent

This patent, granted in 2016, covered the technology behind Snapchat’s geofilters, which are location-based overlays that users can add to their snaps.

14. Pinterest Visual Search Patent

This patent, granted in 2016, covered the technology behind Pinterest’s visual search feature, which allows users to search for products and other content using images rather than text.

15. TikTok Algorithm Patent

This patent, granted in 2021, covers the technology behind TikTok’s algorithm, which is used to personalize the content that users see on the platform based on their interests and behavior.

16. MP3 Patent

The MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer III) patent, which was granted in 1995, was another important software patent. The patent was granted to Karlheinz Brandenburg and his team of researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany. 

The MP3 format revolutionized the way music was distributed and consumed, allowing users to store and play large numbers of songs on their computers and portable music players. However, the patent expired in 2017, allowing the format to be used freely.

17. Netscape Navigator Patent

This patent, granted in 1996, covered the design and technology of the Netscape Navigator web browser, which was one of the most popular browsers of the 90s.

18. DVD Patent

This patent, granted in 1995, covered the technology behind the DVD (Digital Versatile Disc) format, which revolutionized the way movies and other media were distributed.

19. RSS Patent

This patent, granted in 2005, covered the technology behind RSS (Really Simple Syndication), which is a format used to syndicate content on the web, such as news articles and blog posts.

20. AJAX Patent

This patent, granted in 2006, covered the technology behind AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), which is a technique used to create dynamic web applications that update content without requiring a full page refresh.

21. Pop-up Ad Patent

This patent, granted in 1998, covered the technology behind pop-up ads, which were a popular form of online advertising in the early days of the internet.

22. VoIP Patent

This patent, granted in 1996, covered the technology behind VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), which is a technology that allows voice communication to be transmitted over the internet.

23. Content Delivery Network Patent

This patent, granted in 2000, covered the technology behind content delivery networks, which are networks of servers that are used to distribute web content, such as images and videos, to users around the world.

24. Online Auction Patent

This patent, granted in 1998, covered the technology behind online auction websites, which revolutionized the way people buy and sell goods on the internet.

25. Cookie Patent

This patent, granted in 1994, covered the technology behind HTTP cookies, which are small text files stored on a user’s computer that are used to track user activity on websites.

26. Streaming Media Patent

This patent, granted in 1995, covered the technology behind streaming media, which is a technique used to deliver audio and video content over the internet in real time.

27. Online Mapping Patent

This patent, granted in 1996, covered the technology behind online mapping services, such as Google Maps, which revolutionized the way people navigate and explore the world.

28. Online Payment Patent

This patent, granted in 1994, covered the technology behind online payment systems, which allowed for secure and convenient payment processing for online transactions.

29. Apple iOS Patent

This patent, granted in 2007, covered the design and functionality of the iOS operating system, which is used on iPhones and iPads.

30. Google Android Patent

This patent, granted in 2008, covered the design and functionality of the Android operating system, which is used on many different smartphones and tablets.

31. Qualcomm CDMA Patent

This patent, granted in 1995, covered the technology behind CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access), which is a wireless communication technology used by many different mobile phone networks around the world.

32. Nokia Snake Game Patent

This patent, granted in 1998, covered the technology behind the popular Snake game that was included on many Nokia phones in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

33. BlackBerry Email Patent

This patent, granted in 2002, covered the technology behind BlackBerry’s email system, which was a key feature of the company’s smartphones.

34. Samsung Galaxy Patent

This patent, granted in 2010, covered the design and functionality of the Samsung Galaxy smartphone, which has become one of the most popular Android phones in the world.

35. Qualcomm Snapdragon Patent

This patent, granted in 2008, covered the technology behind the Snapdragon mobile processor, which is used in many different smartphones and other mobile devices.

36. Facebook Like Button Patent

This patent, granted in 2012, covers the technology behind Facebook’s Like button, which allows users to express their approval of posts, photos, and other content on the social media platform.

37. Amazon Echo Patent

This patent, granted in 2014, covers the design and functionality of the Amazon Echo smart speaker, which is powered by the Alexa voice assistant.

38. Google AdWords Patent

This patent, granted in 2001, covers the technology behind Google’s AdWords advertising platform, which revolutionized the way online advertising is bought and sold.

39. Intel x86 Architecture Patent

This patent, granted in 1978, covers the design and architecture of the x86 microprocessor, which is used in many different computer systems.

40. AMD Athlon Processor Patent

This patent, granted in 1999, covers the design and functionality of the AMD Athlon processor, which was a major advancement in the performance of personal computer processors.

41. ARM Processor Patent

This patent, granted in 1985, covers the design and functionality of the ARM processor, which is used in many different types of electronic devices, including smartphones, tablets, and wearable devices.

42. IBM PC Architecture Patent

This patent, granted in 1981, covers the design and architecture of the IBM Personal Computer, which was one of the first mass-produced personal computers.

43. NVIDIA Graphics Processor Patent

This patent, granted in 1999, covers the design and functionality of the NVIDIA graphics processor, which is widely used in gaming and other high-performance computing applications.

44. ASUS Motherboard Patent

This patent, granted in 1998, covers the design and functionality of the ASUS motherboard, which is widely used in personal computers and other electronic devices.

45. Gigabyte Dual-BIOS Patent

This patent, granted in 2005, covers the technology behind Gigabyte’s Dual-BIOS feature, which allows for automatic backup and recovery of the motherboard BIOS in case of a failure.

Conclusion

These are just some examples of the many important software patents that have played a key role in the development of the internet. These patents have helped to drive innovation and growth in the industry and continue to have a significant impact today.

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