Further decision re-opens the door on business method and computer program patents

By Robynne Sanders and Rob McMaster

Australia’s Federal Court has handed down another decision with significant implications for the patentability of business method, software and computer-implemented inventions.

In RPL Central Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Patents, Justice Middleton of the Federal Court held that a computer-implemented method of gathering information to assess a person’s competency against a qualification standard was patentable.

The decision is much more favourable to patent applicants than the recent decision of Justice Emmett in Research Affiliates LLC v Commissioner of Patents, where it was held that mere generation and storage of data in a computer was not be enough to create patentable subject matter…

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