Monday, October 13, 2008

Symbian case to open floodgates to software patents in UK?

A recent Court of Appeal decision in the UK suggests that so-called "software" patents may become more prevalent in the UK, and that UK policy may conform more closely to that of the EPO.

A blog noted:

The Court of Appeal has refused to accept the UK Intellectual Property Office's rejection of a patent for a piece of software in a move which experts say will open the door for more software patents in the UK.

Symbian has won the right to patent a piece of software which makes other software run more quickly. The Court of Appeal rejected the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK-IPO)'s objections to the application.

The software in question was granted a patent by the European Patent Office (EPO), but the UK-IPO rejected an application to make that patent active in the UK.

The High Court had previously backed Symbian's case, and the Court of Appeal has reaffirmed that decision.

See also

Patentability of Computer Software As Such which notes:

the Court held that differences in outcome
between the UK IPO and the EPO should be minimised. If claimed subject
matter was not an excluded business method, mathematical method or
mental act, the right question was whether it made a “technical contribution”
having regard to the practical reality of what was achieved. Increase in
reliability and speed whether within or outside the computer were advantages
that would normally suffice to ensure patentability.


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