Software Patent News for January 24th

Software Patent News for January 24th:

  • UK IPO sticks to four-step software patent test []
    "The [UK] Intellectual Property Office has previously recognised that an invention which either solves a technical problem external to the computer or solves "a technical problem within the computer" is not excluded," it said. "What Symbian has now shown is that improving the operation of a computer by solving a problem arising from the way the computer was programmed – for example, a tendency to crash due to conflicting library program calls – can also be regarded as solving "a technical problem within the computer" if it leads to a more reliable computer."
  • Canada, Intellectual Property, Bilski Applied: The Start Of The Ripple Effect []
    ". . .the law in Canada has always been more restrictive in this field [software patents] than in the United States. Since the 1981 decision of Schlumberger Canada Ltd. v. Commissioner of Patents [(1981) 56 C.P.R. (2d) 204 (FCA)], software-related inventions have been patentable [in Canada] if the new software was coupled with computer hardware, even if the hardware component is nominal."
  • April deadline set for submissions in EPO Software Patent Case [Managing Intellectual Property]
    Interested parties have until the end of April to submit written statements to the EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeal for the president’s referral on the patentability of computer programs. Given the controversy over the patenting of computer programs in recent years, a large number of submissions can be expected, from the software industry, legal professionals, trade associations and the open-source and anti-software patent communities.
  • Battle Between Software Patents and Open Source []
    Pat Quinn on Software Patents "I am just a patent attorney who thinks software ought to be patentable and that the Federal Circuit went way farther than it should have in Bilski. But I can’t help but notice that by making open source software a priority President Obama is potentially showing his hand and throwing in with those who would rather not see a strong and vibrant patent system. . .
    . . . I trace back the fall of proprietary software and the beginning of the end of software patents to the day the Supreme Court issued its decision in the Microsoft-AT&T case. One curious aspect of the Microsoft-AT&T decision was the choice by the majority to characterize software that is not in a format capable of being immediately loaded onto a computer as “an idea without physical embodiment.” "