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[News] Greedy Lawyers Try to Bring Software Patents to the UK

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Patently Not the Case

,----[ Quote ]
| Professionals who work in the field of intellectual monopolies have a 
| problem. Most of them are quite able to see there are serious problems with 
| the system, but since their entire career has been built on it, they can 
| hardly trash the whole thing. Instead, they not unreasonably try to come up 
| with a "reasonable" compromise.    
| [...]
| There are simply *no* good reasons for software patents, and hence no 
| justification for halfway houses, however reasonably framed, and however 
| intelligent and reasonable the framer.  


More from Europe:

EPO: Philips: (Patentability of programs for computers) to the Enlarged Board
of Appeal.

,----[ Quote ]
| Observations: In view of the above discussion on the statutory background, 
| the examples in Article 52(2) EPC should be understood in the light of the 
| principle that all technical inventions are patent-eligible, while all 
| non-technical subjects are not. So, it is not relevant whether some 
| computer-related wording is used in a claim, as the question that needs to be 
| answered is whether the claim relates to a technical invention. Moreover, it 
| is not that relevant whether a claim in the area of computer programs avoids 
| exclusion under Article 52(2)(c) and (3) EPC by using some smartly chosen 
| wording, as it still needs to be new and involve an inventive step in order 
| to be patentable. As has been aptly mentioned in T 154/04, only technical 
| features can contribute to novelty and inventive step, so that there must be 
| technical features that distinguish the invention from the prior art in a 
| non-obvious way. Merely mentioning the use of a prior art computer or a prior 
| art computer-readable data             



The UK-IPO's latest thoughts on software patents

,----[ Quote ]
| The IPKat thinks the UK-IPO's view that the Enlarged Board will be able to
| settle the matter soon is hopelessly optimistic. For one thing, the Enlarged
| Board is not known for being quick at producing definitive decisions. Also,
| as has already been pointed out (see here), it seems very likely that the
| Enlarged Board will have to reject the referral, because it simply does not
| comply with the requirements of the EPC, which only allows such referrals in
| limited cases. This would not, however, be such a bad thing, provided the
| UK-IPO properly takes on board the guidance offered in Symbian and uses the
| word 'technical' often enough (even though nobody knows what it actually
| means).


Patentability of computer programs, recent Court of Appeal judgment and
questions raised by the President of the European Patent Office

,----[ Quote ]
| 4. In the light of this development, the UK-IPO will not seek to appeal the
| Symbian judgment further. The UK-IPO agrees with the Court of Appeal in that
| it would now be premature to seek a view from the House of Lords when
| European practice is likely to be settled shortly by a decision of the EPO’s
| Enlarged Board of Appeal. The UK-IPO will have an opportunity to submit
| observations to the Enlarged Board of Appeal on the questions put to it. In
| order to inform any such observations the UK-IPO will undertake a study to
| determine the economic impact of patenting computer programs.

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