Two recent patent cases replace all past cases

The judgment of two recent Appeals Court patent cases will be used by the UK Patent Office as the “benchmark” for all future disputes over the patentability of software. All past cases will be replaced as a result.

In the cases which involved applications by Aerotel and by Neal Macrossan, “the Office takes the view that Aerotel/Macrossan must be treated as a definitive statement of how the law on patentable subject matter is now to be applied in the UK. It should therefore rarely be necessary to refer back to previous UK or European Patent Office (EPO) case law”, said the Office.

Software is patentable in the US and in some cases in Europe. UK law, however, does not allow software to be patentable. “There is a strong lobbying effort in Europe calling for software patents across Europe, but many smaller developers are opposing the potential move”, said the OUT-LAW.COM.

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