by Mike Masnick
Thu, May 7th 2009 6:29pm
The UK has held out against the idea of software patents for a while, but with Nokia pushing hard to get a patent on a piece of software related to the Symbian mobile operating system (which, ironically, Nokia has agreed to open source), last year a court ruled that the patent office in the UK had been too quick to dismiss the patent application, and an appeals court agreed. So, it should probably come as no surprise at all that the patent office has now granted the patent in question. What's amusing, though, is how it rationalizes the decision. Rather than just saying "uh, the courts said so," it claims that it allowed the patent because it's "more than just a software program," saying that the invention was a "technical contribution." Apparently, the new rules mean that as long as software makes a "technical contribution" it can be patented. But... uh... what software doesn't make a "technical contribution" of some sort?
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