An old uni friend, Paul Russell, has a worrying blog post about a recent High Court ruling over UK Software Patents – software can’t be patented in the UK, but it would appear that the court upheld an appeal from Symbian following the rejection of an application the software firm made to the Intellectual Patent Office (IPO):
“Symbian filed for a patent relating to the way computers use a library of functions that can be accessed by programs. The claim was discarded by the IPO last July, on the grounds that it related to software-based innovation – the IPO says patents are not available in the UK for solely computer-based programs, only for inventions that use software programs.” – Computing.
It would appear that the presiding Judge ruled in favour of the appeal as the IPO exlusions put UK software companies at an unfair disadvantage compared with rival developers in Europe, where the legal landscape works differently. The European Patent Office (EPO) has already approved Symbian’s application.
Apparently the IPO plans to contest the ruling at the Court of Appeal:
“on the grounds that the judge did not follow procedures created following a benchmark case in 2006.”
All is not lost.