Software Patent - Intellectual Property Law
A software patent is a patent on a piece of software, such as a computer program, libraries, user interface, or algorithm. Software patents follow the same rules as other patents and last for twenty years, subject to annual renewal. However, the Internet 'raises complex issues regarding the enforcement of patents, as patent protection is provided on a country-by-country basis, and the patent law of each country only takes effect within its own borders'.
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 World Intellectual Property Organization (https://www.wipo.int/sme/en/documents/software_patents_fulltext.html)