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EU Patents Software The Courts

EU Central Court Could Validate Software Patents 77

Posted by timothy
from the we-have-come-seeking-rent dept.
protoshell writes "'Software patents in Europe could be validated with a central patent court,' warns Richard Stallman in an article published in the Guardian. After the rejection of the software patent directive in 2005, large companies have shifted their lobbying towards the validation of software patents in Europe through a central patent court, which is foreseen with the Unitary Patent project. Even if the European Patent Convention literally excludes software from patents, the European Patent Office and the German courts interpret the exclusion narrowly, which makes software patents valid in the end."
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EU Central Court Could Validate Software Patents

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  • by Theaetetus (590071) <theaetetus.slash ... .com minus distr> on Monday August 22, 2011 @06:51PM (#37172804) Homepage Journal
    ... in the same way that software patents are valid in the US. Here, software per se is unpatentable, but if claimed as being performed by a specific computer, then it's patent eligible*. That's essentially what the Bilski decision was. Same thing in Europe: software per se is unpatentable, but a machine performing software is currently patentable.

    *note: this does not mean "performed by a specific computer" is not obvious. This is purely about whether a class of subject matter is potentially patentable. Yes, performing software on a computer is obvious, but if the software is new and non-obvious, then the claim as a whole can be patentable.

    Disclaimer: I am a US patent attorney. I've gotten many patents issued on software performed by a computing device, as well as software embodied in articles of manufacture, both here and in Europe. That said, I'm not your attorney, and this isn't legal advice, and is purely for the purposes of (my own) amusement.

  • Re:Pathetic (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Penguinisto (415985) on Monday August 22, 2011 @07:05PM (#37172974) Journal

    You don't see this kind of stuff in China

    You may not see it, but it is most definitely there. It's just that China's government is a hell of a lot more quiet about it, and the little bit that does see daylight [ft.com] is considered normal, especially when compared to the more outrageous crap (by Western standards) that businesses pull off both with and against each other.

    It also helps the facade when you occasionally execute the occasional minor official or two [bbc.co.uk] who don't pay enough of a 'vig' to keep the upper echelons' bank accounts properly greased.

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten

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