Feeds

UK Patent Office opens software patent consultation

Should we or shouldn't we? So far, it seems impartial...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The UK patent office has opened a consultation exercise on patenting of software and business methods, and has posted a pretty detailed and lucid questionnaire on its Web site. It's also kicked off a discussion group on the subject, and is asking for responses from all concerned - business, software authors, users and consumers - before December 15th.

The document reveals that 15 per cent of patents being granted in the UK are now software-based, but it clearly differentiates between the position in the UK, where an invention has to be "new, not obvious, and useful," and the position in Europe. There it also has to give rise to a technical effect. "For example, a new and non-obvious program which gave a computer more efficient memory usage and so enabled it to run faster would be patentable because of the technical effect it has on the operation of the computer. But a new program for a computer game would not currently be patentable because it has no technical effect."

Got that? The European system also doesn't allow patenting of business methods at the moment, but as the UK document notes, a separate consultation is being run by the European Commission. This could result in European system coming more into line with the US model, where software and business methods patents are allowed.

As we've noted here in the past, the first stages of the European consultation look pretty multinational-friendly, and are provoking stiff opposition. ®

Related Links

UK Patent Office consultation
European consultation

Related Stories

Patent lobby get in early for EU consultation process
Software patents: will Europe roll over for the multinationals?

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Entity Framework goes 'code first' as Microsoft pulls visual design tool
Visual Studio database diagramming's out the window
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.