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)Âs attitude on inventions which theÂ EPC thinks are nothing more than “schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, playingÂ 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 ofÂ Appeal. The ruling at such an unusually high judicial level is a Âblow for companies which wantÂ the UK to follow America’s lead and allow software to be patentedÂ.
The UK Patent Office said that the ruling would Âclear up uncertainty in the areaÂ and ÂwouldÂ shortly issue a practice note outlining how its examiners will assess future patent applicationsÂ.