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[News] Brimelow's Referral a Totally Useless Act That Leaves Software Patents Ambiguity in EPO

  • Subject: [News] Brimelow's Referral a Totally Useless Act That Leaves Software Patents Ambiguity in EPO
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 19 May 2010 09:05:14 +0100
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/4.4.2
Hash: SHA1

Inadmissable Referral G03/08


Creative interpretation at the European Patent Office

,----[ Quote ]
| The spin machine of the European Patent 
| Office in Munich in full motion. Its 
| Enlarged Board of Appeal declared the 
| referred questions of EPO-President Alison 
| Brimelow inadmissible. A court would stop 
| here but the EBoA is no Court but just an 
| administrative appeals chamber and not 
| bound by judicial standards, so they also 
| discuss the substance.


Brimelow Referral on software patents dismissed: "time for the legislator to take over"

,----[ Quote ]
| Munich, 13 May 2010 -- The highest appeal 
| chamber of the European Patent Office, the 
| Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA), has 
| decided on patents for computer programs. 
| The questions on point of law from 
| President Brimelow were decided to be 
| "inadmissible" under Article 112(1)(b) 
| EPC. It chided the President for bothering 
| the board with her questions. For such 
| requests Alison Brimelow was recommended 
| to ask her legal staff.


The European Patent Office bites its tail in order blur whats patentable - again

,----[ Quote ]
| The European Patent Office bites its tail 
| in order blur whats patentable - again
| This week, we finally learned that the 
| questions The European Patent Office (EPO) 
| sent two year ago to clarify what can be 
| patented where inadmissible by its own 
| patent high court, The Extended Board of 
| Appeals (EBA). Its all the usual mess from 
| EPO with slippery and indecisive wordings 
| creating endless loops without 
| clarifications. 
| [...]
| To put an extra spin on this mess, the EPO 
| PR interpret this non decision as a win 
| for software patents. Hilarious and said, 
| since this is just right - leaving 
| questions unanswered and matters diffused 
| is just was has created this situation 
| from the start.



EBoA confirms EPO approach to computer programs

,----[ Quote ]
| Today the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the
| EPO handed down its opinion on referral G
| 3/08, taking the opportunity to set out and
| confirm the approach of the EPO regarding
| the patentability of computer programs
| under the European Patent Convention (EPC).
| The opinion relates to four questions
| referred to the Enlarged Board in October
| 2008 by the President of the EPO concerning
| points of law of fundamental importance for
| the Office's patenting practice in this
| field.
| The Enlarged Board analysed in detail the
| development of relevant case law, and found
| that there was a divergence between two
| decisions of Technical Boards of Appeal.
| However, recognising that the "case law in
| new legal and/or technical fields does not
| always develop in linear fashion, and that
| earlier approaches may be abandoned or
| modified", the Enlarged Board found that
| this constituted a legitimate development
| rather than a conflict of case law.
| In the absence of conflicting Board of
| Appeal decisions, the Enlarged Board
| concluded that the legal requirements for a
| referral were not met. Nevertheless, the
| Board affirmed the right of the President
| of the EPO to "make full use of the
| discretion granted by Article 112(1)(b)
| EPC" in making a referral, and provided
| further guidance on how these requirements
| for such a referral should be interpreted.



Year Ahead: Reforming Global IP Systems - Trends In A2K In 2010

,----[ Quote ]
| For the Free Software Foundation Europe and
| the Foundation for a Free Information
| Infrastructure (FFII), 2010 looks like a
| decisive year given that several
| interesting decisions will be taken on the
| patentabilty of software, business
| processes and conventional seeds. Four
| questions about computer implemented
| inventions and their patenting have been
| referred by Brimelow to the EPO Enlarged
| Board of Appeal and a decision can be
| expected soon, even if the referral itself
| is rejected.
| [...]
| The free and open source software model
| might be a better alternative to patenting
| and then ârepairingâ possible barriers to
| technology transfers, said Karsten Gerloff,
| president of the Free Software Foundation
| Europe. It might be possible to transfer
| this model to other technology areas like
| climate technology, he said. In any case,
| information technology related climate
| technology would gain through free and open
| source software.
| The FSFE, according to Gerloff, will follow
| closely the work by the EU Commission on
| the European Interoperability Framework
| (EIF), which consists of a set of
| interoperability guideline documents for
| European Public Services. While the first
| draft resulting from consultations in 2008
| contained solid references to open
| standards and open source software,
| according to the FSFE, these had vanished
| from a second draft leaked last September.
| Six member states filed objections against
| this second EIF draft, according to the
| Ignoring open standards and open source
| software has a series of disadvantages,
| according to the free and open source
| software organisations, from anti-
| competitive effects against smaller
| software companies to proprietary formats
| for public content.
| A second focus of the FSFEâs work in 2010
| is the relationship between standards and
| patents. âIn our view, patents that are
| part of standards have to be licensed
| royalty free,â said Gerloff. While
| standardisation bodies like the World Wide
| Web Consortium or the Internet Engineering
| Task Force this worked well, in other
| organisations like the International
| Standards Organisation, reform is
| necessary, he said. âThere is a lot of work
| to do.â


Amicus letter of Donald E. Knuth

,----[ Quote ]
| Prof. em Donald E. Knuth, the algorithm pope, sent an Amicus Curiae letter to
| the European Patent Office in the case G03/08 and expressed his desire
| to âinnovate in peaceâ...


EU software patent issue goes to appeals body

,----[ Quote ]
| Alison Brimelow, president of the European Patent Office, has referred the
| deeply contentious question about how to assess the patentability of
| software-related inventions to her office's top appeals body, the enlarged
| board of appeal (EBoA), the EPO said late Friday.
| [....]
| In November 2006 Neal Macrossan, an Australian entrepreneur software
| developer, lost an appeal against the U.K. Patent Office's rejection of his
| patent application. He wanted patent protection for a method for producing
| documents "for use in the formation of a corporate entity using a data
| processing system."
| On the same day the U.K. Court of Appeal threw out a challenge against a
| patent owned by IT company Aerotel for a computer program that created a new
| network infrastructure for a group of computers.
| The three judges presiding over the cases considered the first a business
| method, and therefore unpatentable, while the second was seen as a patentable
| hardware change. Another U.K. judge called for a referral to the EPO's top
| appeals body to clarify the law concerning software patentability.

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