The question of available protection for new products which are software is a complex issue. Under UK law, the Copyright Design and Patents Act 1988 ("the Act"), software is protected by the law of copyright. Although this is a powerful form of protection against an authorised copying of code, it may not be adequate to protect novel underlying ideas behind the software. For example, although copyright prevents competitors from taking the whole or a substantial part of the software code, it does not prevent a competitor from mimicking the novel concept behind the software system and taking these concepts to develop its own software .
[...] Telco Holdings and others is considered to be the current UK authority on software patentability and is not in line with the recent decisions from the EPO. The case involved a patent for a telephone system whereby a caller had a prepaid account with a telephone company, which was rejected as a business method and the second patent involved a patent application for an automated method of acquiring documents necessary for incorporating a limited company, worked by asking the user a series of questions with the answers being routed to a database of previous answers to match documents. [...]
[...] Construe Widely and Face Invalidity- Construe Narrowly and Miss Infringment The Dilemma of interpreting Patent Specifications. Electronic Journal of Law Volume 11, No.3 Gregory A. Stobb., (2000) “Software Patents” 1-46 Second Edition Robert Plotkin., (2004) “Software Patentability and Practical Utility: What's the All UK case law reports available at www.lexisnexis.com ALL European law reports available at www.precedents.lawtel.com All UK legislation at www.opsigov.uk and ww.statutelaw.gov.uk All European Legislation available at www.europa.eu Websites www.patent.gov.uk www.epo.org See CDPA 1988. Section Patents Act 1977. [...]
[...] Existing Law The current US and EPO position acknowledges in principle the concept of software being a patentable subject. Nevertheless, there are no clear, objective definitions of the conditions for such protection and there is no consistent approach to discerning whether any particular claim for patent protection will be successful. If we consider the cost of patent applications, this leaves innovators in a situation where only those with the funds and backing of established companies would be able to test out a patent application, which contradicts the purpose of patent law as a means to encourage innovation. [...]
[...] Only then can we consider drafting proposals for a satisfactory method of addressing patentability of software within a credible legislative framework. BIBLIOGRAPHY Adelamn, Rader, Thomas & Wegner (2003). Cases and Materials on Patent Law, 2nd Edition West Group Bainbridge., (2007). Intellectual Property. Pearson Longman Blackstones (2007). Statutes on Intellectual Property Law. 9th Edition Oxford University Press. Cornish and Llewellyn (2003). Intellectual Property: Patents, Copyright, Trade Marks and Allied Rights. 5th edition Oxford University Press. Jennifer Davis (2007). Intellectual Property Law. [...]
[...] Accordingly, it would appear that either suggested application of the technical effect standard fails to adequately provide a clear and meaningful approach to the patentability of software. The US approach of “practical utility” also suffers from weaknesses. Firstly, the problem of what constitutes “practical”. If this definition equals “physical” then it is argued that software executing on a computer has “practical” utility in the send that all software creates physical effects within the computer in . electrical signal manipulation”. This would lead to the absurd result of digital downloaded music files being patentable. [...]
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