I invented, although not from scratch, a method and wrote a white paper on it. It was for virtual environments on how to speed up adding different machines to it.
If you can imagine several rooms with all sorts of machines plugged into a ‘network’, they all then think they are being active out in the real world. It is an effective way of testing things, but getting one machine converted into something ‘plug-and-play’ was very time-consuming as we can’t change anything how it would function in real-world, the method I devised helped speed it all up.
In software, “inventions” are a bit of a grey area, as we can only build on what is already there. There are many patent wars being waged by big companies on that. So it is still an area still being defined by the courts and crazy amounts of money!