Macrossan’s epic patent fight ends

The House of Lords has put an end to Australian entrepreneur Neal Macrossan’s bid to patent his business software, refusing him leave to appeal his Court of Appeal defeat against the UK patent office.

The House of Lords dismissed his appeal on the grounds that the case “does not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance”.

Dr John Collins, patent attorney at Marks & Clerk, said: “It is highly surprising that the House of Lords did not consider there to be significant points of law and public interest at stake here, especially given the questions referred to the European Patent Office by the Court of Appeal.”

In October, the Court of Appeal rejected Macrossan’s patent application for an automated system to incorporate a UK company 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”.

Despite rejecting Macrossan’s application, the Court of Appeal referred questions to the European Patent Office to clarify European law on the patentability of software.

Marks & Clerk has led Macrossan’s legal battle with a team including IP litigator Gregor Grant from Marks & Clerk Solicitors and Alastair Wilson QC from Hogarth Chambers. Colin Birss at 3 New Square is counsel to the UK Patent Office.