Landmark patent case goes to the Lords

Australian entrepreneur Neal Macrossan is seeking leave to appeal his software patent case in the House of Lords, after the Court of Appeal rejected his bid to patent an automated system to incorporate a UK company.

Macrossan’s invention was excluded on the grounds that it was a business method and a computer program.

His device fell foul of Article 52 of the UK Patents Act which excludes anything that is “a scheme, rule or method for performing a mental act, playing a game or doing business, or a program for a computer”.

Macrossan said: “There is an issue of law here that affects not just me, but all sorts of interested parties. And unlike the Court of Appeal, the House of Lords is not bound by any previous decisions including its own.”

Patent attorney firm Marks & Clerk is leading Macrossan’s legal battle with a team including IP litigator Gregor Grant from Marks & Clerk Solicitors and Alastair Wilson QC from Hogarth Chambers. The firm is not charging Macrossan for the legal advice.

Colin Birss at 3 New Square is counsel to the UK Patent Office.