Landmark ruling denies UK patent to Software

A landmark Court of Appeal ruling has refused Australian resident Neal Macrossan the right to a patent for a piece of software he invented for filling in company formation forms online.Â

The UK law incorporates the European Patent Convention (EPC)’s attitude on inventions which the EPC thinks are nothing more than “schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, playing games or doing business, and programs for computers” are not patentable.

Macrossan lost in his appeal to the Patent Office, to the High Court and also to the Court of Appeal. The ruling at such an unusually high judicial level is a “blow for companies which want the UK to follow America’s lead and allow software to be patented”.

The UK Patent Office said that the ruling would “clear up uncertainty in the area” and “would shortly issue a practice note outlining how its examiners will assess future patent applications”.

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