Feeds

Lords will not hear Macrossan patent appeal

Final legal whistle blown

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The House of Lords has rejected Neal Macrossan's application to appeal against a ruling that his software was not patentable in the UK.

Macrossan's invention is an automated system that compiles the necessary documents for incorporating a company in the UK.

In November last year, 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. His patent application had originally been rejected by the patent office, a decision he had challenged.

In rejecting the case the Lords said it "does not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance". Macrossan had hoped the Lords would hear his appeal, as the highest court is not bound by any precedents.

His legal team said the Lords' decision was strange, as in the Court of Appeal the judges has taken the very unusual step of addressing questions to the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office in a bid to clarify how patentability of software should be assessed.

Dr John Collins, partner at patent law firm Marks & Clerk, said while Macrossan's appeal was over, there are three cases currently before the high court that could result in changes to "the restrictive interpretation of the Macrossan decision by the UK Patent Office".

The patent office maintains that the appeal court ruling is in line with its own procedures anyway, and that it doesn't forsee any need to change the way it does business as a result of the case. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.