The European Patent Office is considering whether to redefine
the criteria for patenting software inventions.
Under current EPO rules, certain types of inventions are not
patentable, even if they are new and inventive. These include
software inventions that do not solve a technical problem.
The issue of how the requirement of technical aspect of a
software invention should be interpreted has been the subject of
much discussion for many years, not least because a different
definition applies in the US enabling patents on software
inventions to be obtained.
The EPO's Enlarged Board of Appeal is due to consider a
referral (G3/08) on this issue. A number of interested parties,
including [key industry bodies], have made their views known to the
EPO in the hope of influencing its decision.
If the EPO decides to adopt a strict policy of examination, many
filings for software patents will not succeed. If it decides to
lower the requirements, we can expect a significant increase in
European software patent filings.
This article was written for Law-Now, CMS Cameron
McKenna's free online information service. To register for
Law-Now, please go to www.law-now.com/law-now/mondaq
Law-Now information is for general purposes and guidance
only. The information and opinions expressed in all Law-Now
articles are not necessarily comprehensive and do not purport to
give professional or legal advice. All Law-Now information relates
to circumstances prevailing at the date of its original publication
and may not have been updated to reflect subsequent
The original publication date for this article was
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Assos v Asos is a good example of how two apparently very similar trade marks can be held to co-exist side by side despite appearing to inhabit similar territory, and how it can be dangerous to adopt too simplistic a view of infringement and passing off. It is not enough to simply say "the marks are similar and what they are being used for is similar –therefore there must always be infringement".
In October the Court of Appeal ruled against Cadbury in relation to its registration as a trade mark of the distinctive colour purple which consumers associate with its chocolate products, ruling that its distinctive colour was not a "sign" capable of being represented graphically and was not therefore registrable as a trade mark.
The Chancery Division has recently handed down an order in ITV v TV Catchup Ltd which prohibits the defendant, TV Catchup Ltd, from streaming certain free-to-air tv channels via its online service at www.tvcatchup.com.
Lord Younger, Intellectual Property Minister, recently announced the setting up of a new police unit which will be aimed at tackling online piracy.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”