Patenting in the World of Software Testing

What do you know about patenting in testing?

With software testing, testers aim to find faults in the software by running software in various environments. As more methods, systems, and frameworks of software testing are developed, competition increases and companies aim to protect their work by through patents. In this article we will look at some of the patents that are registered in the world of software testing. These are US examples. The code is the publication number and ‘B2’ means it is a published examined patent application (Second level) compared to ‘A’ which is a patent of an invention (First publication) and ‘A1’ is the application for the patent of an invention (First publication).

Please note that patents are territorial and must be filed in each country where protection is sought. Therefore these examples are extended only in the territory of the United States and have no effect in Europe unless the applicant/inventor applies within specific European countries or via the European Patent Office

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Automated Software Testing Framework

Publication number: US 7694181 B2: Among many automated software testing frameworks, some are for testing a plurality of deployed images spread across multiple software platforms, some other for an automated testing method for use during the development and other life cycle phases of a transaction-based software. However, this framework automatically allocates, installs, and verifies a given version of the system under test to exercise a system against a series of tests and then to export information about the tests, using issue tracking tools, to one or more developer repositories’ generic testing framework for automated software testing. Archives, a Massachusetts-based software company registered this patent in 2004.

Configurable Data Masking for Software Testing

Publication number: US 7917770 B2: Testers prefer to use data that closely resembles the real world while testing. However, some data is highly sensitive, for example, customer’s personal information such as name, address, and credit card numbers. Revealing such data violates privacy policy. To counter, testers use data masking. In this process, testers use a set of inauthentic data that closely resembles the real data. The usual method involves writing the code however an Indian company named Infosys Technology, Ltd. made this data masking tool and registered it for a patent. This tool saves testers a lot of time as they don’t have to write the code from scratch. It can be tailored for various platforms.

Software Testing Technique Supporting Dynamic Data Structures

Publication number: US 20080082969 A1: Testing software that uses pointer execution and dynamic data structures often fail to find any defects, even with issue tracking tools in place, due to the nature of data. Symbolic execution doesn’t scale well with dynamic data. Combining concrete and symbolic execution may result in inadequacy to find the bug because dynamic data may have aliases. This technique is patented by The Board of the University of Illinois to perform concrete and symbolic execution simultaneously and able to perform testing for dynamic data with pointer execution.

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Keyword Based Software Testing System and Method

Publication number: US 8522214 B2: With the evolution of software testing, engineers have discovered a variation of methods and systems. One of them is keyword-based software testing. In this method, the automated testing software performs a keyword-based test entered into the system. For example, if “login” is the word entered, the system will then perform all tests linked to the login component. This method is developed by Rick A. Roth. When a keyword is sent or received, the system associates each keyword from the set with a test component that exercises a function, derives a model of the behavior of the software, and tests the software based on the keyword and derived model.

This is just an introduction to the world of patenting. Have you come across additional patents in software testing?

See more software testing resources on EuroSTAR Huddle.
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