Software augurs hard decisions

It’s been a busy few weeks for IP in the UK courts, particularly regarding the tricky issue of software patents. The UK Patent Office has taken a strong stance against awarding patents to inventions with a software element, but ambiguity in the law has led to more litigation over these decisions.

But the appointment of new chief executive Ian Fletcher at the Patent Office could mean a shift in policy.

Meanwhile, the latest judgment from the High Court has helped clear things up a little.

Mr Justice Pumfrey rejected Bloomberg’s bid to patent a computer program, sending a message out to the IP community that computer program inventions are off the cards.

Bloomberg’s law firm, Marks & Clerk Solicitors, were up in arms and said the decision would be bad for UK trade and development.

It will be interesting to see how Fletcher deals with this issue in the coming months. His last job? Managing director, International Directorate in UK Trade and Investment.Get the latest news and an irreverent commentary delivered to your desktop every day by subscribing to Lawyer News Daily.

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