Legal Updates

When does a computer program operate at the level of the architecture of a computer?

In a recent UK-IPO hearing UK company ProProcure Ltd had its (first and only) patent application refused because the invention related to a program for a computer as such. Under UK law the contribution of an invention must not solely relate to a program for a computer.  A “technical” contribution...

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Decision demonstrates difficulties when patenting computer implemented inventions in the UK

In a recent hearing at the UKIPO, Canadian company Thoughtwire Holdings Corp were unsuccessful in arguing that their patent application – “Method and system for sharing data between software systems” – related to more than excluded subject matter. The invention related to a system for sharing data between multiple software...

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Statoil case highlights need for patent applications to include enough technical detail

In an interesting recent UK-IPO hearing the Norwegian company Statoil had its patent application refused because the invention it described consisted of no more than a mathematical method and a program for a computer. This case provides a helpful reminder of the importance in ensuring that a patent application includes...

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Patent Eligibility tests at the UK IPO – before or after inventive step?

The UK IPO and EPO each take a different approach to patentability of computer implemented inventions. One of the most contentious issues in this area and one which is significantly affecting efforts to harmonise tests globally (see the recent paper from the AIPPI study group on CII) is consideration of...

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Success for Areva NP demonstrates strategic power of appeals

Earlier this year the EPO Boards of Appeal decided (in case T0625/11) to overturn a decision from the Examining Division and allow a European patent application for an invention relating to software. The patent application was filed by Areva NP, a French company involved in the design and supply of...

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