UK Court Reminds Everyone That Software Patents In Europe Still Exist

from the gotta-meet-the-criteria dept

This one may have slipped under the radar a bit. After all the hype and focus on the European software patent issue, things have been much quieter since the European Parliament overwhelmingly voted down a plan to standardize acceptance of software patents across Europe. As we noted at the time, this didn’t mean software patents weren’t valid in Europe, but that each nation could make up its own mind on the validity of such patents. It looks like, soon after this, a UK court made it clear that software patents absolutely could be valid (BugMeNot required) if they met certain criteria. The court endorses a basic test as to whether or not software can be patented (whether it really does advance the art, and whether or not the patent adequately discloses what’s new about the process). This isn’t actually a change from earlier rulings in the UK, but does remind everyone that the EU’s voting down of software patents doesn’t mean software patents aren’t valid — but that each country ends up deciding for itself (which could create quite a mess as well).

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