Feeds

Software developer asks Lords to hear patent appeal

Last chance saloon

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Neal Macrossan is seeking leave to appeal to the House of Lords after his application for a patent was rejected by the Court of Appeal.

Macrossan's invention is an automated system that compiles the necessary documents for incorporating a company in the UK. The appeal court judges ruled that this was both a business method and a computer program and was therefore excluded from patentability under Article 52 of the European Patent Convention.

Article 52 sets out the conditions under which an invention does not qualify for patent protection.

In their judgment, the Justices wrote: "We are firmly of the opinion that the patent is both for a method of doing business as such and for a computer program as such."

They went on to use the judgment to suggest three questions to the European Patent Office's Enlarged Board of Appeal that might form the basis of an effort to clarify the precise scope of Article 52.

Macrossan will be represented by patent lawyers at Marks & Clark. A spokesman for the firm said the company was unable to clarify the grounds for the appeal. "We are unable to comment on points of law in the case or anything that will constitute our argument part of the petition for leave to appeal," he told us.

However, the fact that the judges felt moved to send questions to the EPO seems to have prompted the appeal.

Dr John Collins, partner at Marks & Clerk, head of the legal team representing Macrossan, commented: "The Court of Appeal's referral to the Enlarged Board of Appeal is an illustration of the level of discomfort surrounding the divergence between the UK and European approach to inventions of this nature and the recognition of intellectual property."

Neal Macrossan added: "There is an issue of law here that affects not just me, but all sorts of interested parties. And unlike the Court of Appeal, the House of Lords is not bound by any previous decisions including its own." ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.