Enforcement of patents in cloud computing

Computer systems are increasingly arranged with a user device in one location connected over a network (e.g. the internet) to remote computing resources (a server-side).

The user uploads his/her data to the server, where there is greater capacity to process/store it, and results are delivered to the user over the network. This is particularly attractive for users on the move. All they need is a device with a web browser and internet access, the storage and computing being handled remotely ‘in the cloud’.

Patents for inventions in this area may be obtainable but patents are territorial rights and the question arises whether they can be enforced when the user is in one place and the computing resources are elsewhere, in the hands of a different party that may be in a different country. The patent issues are discussed in this briefing from a UK perspective using an illustrative example…

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