Watch this space- as important case is referred to COA
Lord Justice Jacob in an important ruling referred the Macrossan case to the Court of Appeal. HeÂ said that the scope of the computer software exception to patentability is “of public interest,Â sufficiently uncertain and thus worthy of consideration by the Court of AppealÂ. He added that heÂ thought Macrossan’s arguments “have a real prospect of success”.
The owner of the ÂclaimedÂ software patent is Neal Macrossan. MacrossanÂs patent allowed forÂ online filing of company documentation to incorporate companies.
The invention was rejected by the UK Patent Office as the claim was excluded on the grounds thatÂ software patents per se are not patentable. The Hearing Officer at the time explained what it did:
“The essence of the invention is that by means of posing questions to a user in a number ofÂ stages, enough information is gleaned from the user’s answers to produce the required documents.Â Questions posed in the second and subsequent stages are determined from previous answers providedÂ and the user’s answers are stored in a database structure. This process is repeated until the userÂ has provided enough information to allow the documents legally required to create the corporateÂ entity to be generated. A number of document templates are also stored and the data processor isÂ configured to merge at least one of these templates with the user’s answers to generate theÂ required legal documents. The documents may then be sent in an electronic form to the user for theÂ user to print out and submit, mailed to the user, or submitted to the appropriate registrationÂ authority on behalf of the user.”
Watch this space!