Bloomberg failure blow to software patent push

The High Court has dealt a blow to companies looking to patent software-related inventions by rejecting Bloomberg’s bid to patent a computer program.

IP firm Marks & Clerk Solicitors acted for Bloomberg, with the Treasury Solicitor representing the UK Patent Office on the opposing side.

Patent judge Mr Justice Pumfrey ruled that, “the claimed invention fails to surmount the hurdle placed in its path by Article 52, and it must be rejected.”

Article 52 of the UK Patents Act excludes anything that can be considered a program for a computer.

Bloomberg’s invention identifies which application someone regularly uses to view financial data and sends records in the appropriate format.

John Collins, a patent attorney with Marks & Clerk, said that the ruling could have an adverse effect on business: “A frustrating disparity between European and UK treatment of software patents remains, and could become seriously detrimental to UK industry.”

The firm instructed Richard Davies at Hogarth Chambers, facing Michael Tappin at 8 New Square.