8 New Square victorious in software patent appeal

8 New Square victorious in software patent appealIP chambers 8 New Square has scored a Court of Appeal win for technology company Symbian, in a decision that could see software patents allowed in the UK for the first time.

Lord Neuberger, along with Lord Justice Jacob and Lord Justice Maurice Kay, dismissed the Comptroller General of Patent’s appeal against Mr Justice Patten’s earlier ­decision.

In the past, software has been ;excluded ;from patentability under Section 52 of the Patents Act 1977.

However, in his judgment Lord Neuberger made allowances for software that improves a computer’s ­performance, saying it could be a test of the software’s practical application.

“A computer with this program operates better than a similar prior art computer. To say, ‘Oh but that is only because it is a better program – the computer itself is unchanged,’ gives no credit to the practical ­reality of what is achieved by the program.”

Neuberger added: “As a matter of such reality there is more than just a ‘better ­program’, there is a faster and more reliable computer.”

Patent and trademark attorney firm Withers & Rogers acted for Symbian, instructing 8 New Square’s Daniel Alexander QC and Richard ;Davis ;from ­Hogarth Chambers.

Acting ;for ;the ­Comptroller ;General, the Treasury Solicitor’s ­Department also went to 8 New Square for counsel, instructing Peter Prescott QC and Charlotte May.