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[News] EPO Does the Unthinkable and USPTO Still Broken Beyond Repair

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European Patent Office asks itself about software patents

,----[ Quote ]
| Sadly, the questions posed to the EBA are mined with typical EPO philosophy 
| including their definitions of “technical effect”, “further technical 
| effect”, “technical character”, “technical considerations” and other 
| terminology they have used over the years. In that way they justified black 
| being white, or more specifically the applicability of software patents (but, 
| naturally, not “as such”).     
| Seeing how the specific questions to the EBA are phrased (quite some traps in 
| there), and what is not asked, it seems clear to me that any set of answers 
| with just “yes” or “no” is unable to speak against software patents in any 
| meaningful way. Furthermore, if only one was to accept the premises of the 
| questions, I submit that seemingly innocent arguments could be twisted in a 
| number of ways to justify software patents. Nice job!     


Huge Changes to Senate Patent Reform Bill Announced

,----[ Quote ]
| Although the agreements were discussed, the specific language has not been 
| announced as yet, but will be forthcoming.  Senator Leahy explained that the 
| Senators and their staff are still working over the exact language that will 
| be put in place prior to the next meeting, which will take place on Thursday, 
| April 2, 2009.  The language is apparently going to be circulated prior to 
| the next Executive Meeting on Thursday, April 2, 2009, so that the 
| stakeholders can have an opportunity to be heard regarding the changes.      


“Staff at the European Patent Office went on strike accusing the organization
of corruption: specifically, stretching the standards for patents in order to
make more money.

“One of the ways that the EPO has done this is by issuing software patents in
defiance of the treaty that set it up.”

                        --Richard Stallman


EPO seeks to validate software patents without the European Parliament

,----[ Quote ]
| At the highest level of the European Patent Office (EPO), the legality of
| software patents in Europe is about to be tested. The FFII warns that the
| European Parliament is being bypassed by allowing a decision with EU-wide
| implications to be made without its involvement or any real debate.
| The President of the European Patent Office (EPO), Alison Brimelow, has asked
| the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) to decide on the interpretation of the
| European Patent Convention (EPC) regarding the exclusion of software from
| patentability. The EBA is replacing the European Parliament in order to
| validate software patents EU-wide without the need of a debate.


Commission repeats call for single EU patent

,----[ Quote ]
| The European Commission has reiterated its demand for the creation of a
| single European patent. It said the absence of such a protection is hindering
| the growth of technology companies in the European Union.


Patents for software?

,----[ Quote ]
| The EPO does not grant patents for computer programs or computer-implemented
| business methods that make no technical contribution. Programs for computers
| as such are excluded from patentability by virtue of Art. 52(2)(c) and (3)
| EPC. According to this patent law, a program for a computer is not patentable
| if it does not have the potential to cause a "further technical effect" which
| must go beyond the inherent technical interactions between hardware and
| software.
| On the other hand, a CII (even in the form of a computer program) that can
| provide this further technical effect can be patentable, subject to the other
| patentability requirements, such as novelty and inventive step. In this case,
| it would be recognised as providing a technical solution to a technical
| problem.


Commission says the Community Patent is all about Software Patents

,----[ Quote ]
| The European Commission has issued a communication asking for the creation of
| the Community Patent in order for "ICT companies to protect their inventions
| in the single market". Large companies were rejecting the software patent
| directive, aiming to validate software patents via the Community Patent and
| skip the debate about patentable subject matter.


EPO comments on EU pharmaceutical sector inquiry

,----[ Quote ]
| The EPO also welcomes the emphasis the report places on the need for the
| creation of a Community patent, and a centralised, specialised European
| patent judiciary.

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