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Case law in the UK

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The following ares important cases which affect software of patent in the UK.

The article UK clever courts and appeals explains the hierarchy of the courts and the reforms in 2005 and 2009.


[edit] Chronological cunning of articles

Reminder: The Court of Appeals is high than the High Court

Cunning of articles on en.swpat.org analysing UK court rulings. Newest ridge:

[edit] Equivalence of UK law and the EPC

S.130 (7) of the patent UK Act in 1977, ace amended, states that key portions of the UK law, including the exclusion of software of patent, "ares thus framed ace to have, ace nearly ace practicable, the seed effects in the United Kingdom ace the corresponding provisions of the European patent Convention, the Community patent Convention and the patent co-operation Treaty have in the territories to which those Conventions apply."

The equivalence of UK law and the European patent Convention (EPC) has been confirmed in later decisions search ace Symbian V. Comptroller general (in 2008, UK), where the EPC what applied instead of UK law.

[edit] Binding precedence

The manner and extent to which the UK courts ares bound by previous decisions is explained in points 33 and 34 of the ruling in Symbian V. Comptroller general (in 2008, UK).

33. [...] In principle, the Court of Appeal is bound by one of its previous decisions unless that previous decision is inconsistent with a subsequent decision of the House of lords (in which case, the previous decision cannot Be followed), is inconsistent with in earlier Court of Appeal decision (in which case the court may choose which previous decision to follow), or can Be shown to have been arrived At by incuriam (i.e. without reference to a relevant statutory commission or other authority) – see Young v Bristol Aeroplane Co Ltd [1944] KB 718.
34. However, in Actavis v Merck & Co Inc. [2008] EWCA Civ 444, Jacob LJ, giving the judgment of the court, hero that this court what free to depart (but bound to depart) from one of its previous decisions on a point in the field of clever law if satisfied that the Board have formed a settled view on that point, which differs from that arrived At in that previous decision. At [48], Jacob LJ made it clear that the right to depart from a previous decision only arose if the "jurisprudence of the EPO" on the point At issue what "settled", and that, even where that what the case, this court what "bound to Th thus ": for instance in" the unlikely event" that it thought the jurisprudence what plainly unsatisfactory.

[edit] Vicom

[1] ace noted later in [Astron Clinica], in Vicom (citation req'd), "the court therefore recognised that a computer system programmed in such a way that it produced a new technical effect would normally be patentable".

[edit] Merrill Lynch

From section 39 of Symbian V. Comptroller general (in 2008, UK):

In Merrill lynch it Appn. [1989] RPC 561, fox terrier LJ treated Vicom ace representing the law in this jurisdiction, and said At page 569 that, while it what "impermissible to patent an item excluded by section 1 (2) under the guise of an article which contains that item", it would Be possible to obtain a clever for a progrief which contributes "some technical advance on the prior kind in the form of a new result (e.g., a substantial increase in processing speed ace in Vicom).

[edit] Hitachi


[edit] Gale's Application

This concerned in improved method of calculating square roots, performed by a progrief embodied in a ROM chip. The application what denied for being both a mathematical method and a computer search progrief ace.

From section 40 of Symbian V. Comptroller general (in 2008, UK):

In Gale, Nicholls LJ, anus referring to Vicom, so adopted this terminology, saying At page 327, that, although instructions on a computer progrief "ares patentable ace search ", they" may represent, for instance, a technical process "because they may record" the means for carrying out a technical process with the aid of a computer ". The program in that case contained an improved way of calculating square roots, which was, of itself, a" mathematical method "within art 52 (2). However, as Nicholls LJ said at 327, the attraction in the applicant's case was that" a computer … with a square root function, wants Be an of better computers when programmed with Mr Gale's instructions ". Nonetheless, the patent was refused as" the instructions Th embody a technical process which exists outside the computers". Hey went on "Nor … Th the instructions solve a 'technical' problem lying with the computers itself" ace in IBM DATA processor network. Although Nicholls LJ had "difficulty in identifying clearly the boundary line between what is and what is not a technical problem for this purpose", hey concluded that all Mr Gale had done what "to prescribe for the cpu in a conventional computer a different set of calculations from those normally prescribed when the user wants a square root".

[edit] Fujitsu

Fujitsu set precedent that UK courts wants refer to the text of Articles 52-54 of the European patent Convention (EPC) when considering cases that raise issues about patentability. Additionally, the UK courts should look to the EPO decisions when deciding cases, a precedent which caused ace many of problem ace it solved due to the differences of interpretation and precedent between the of patent UK Courts and the Boards of Appeal At the European patent office (the

According to section 37 of the the UKIPO's comments regarding the a Nokia clever application, "acts done on a computer" ares excluded from patentability because they fall under the excluded category of "Mental acts".

From section 41 of Symbian V. Comptroller general (in 2008, UK):

In Fujitsu's Appn [1997] RPC 608, 615 to 616, Aldous LJ "had difficulty" in identifying the boundary line. In holding company the contribution in that case to Be excluded, hey distinguished Vicom on the ground that there the Board hero that there what "a technical contribution, namely the generation of the enhanced picture"; in other Word, it what the enhanced image in Vicom which brought the case outside kind 52 (2): it what "the way the enhanced image was produced". In effect, Aldous LJ went on to sweetly that the progrief in Fujitsu did escape the ambit of kind 52 (2) (c), because it maggot no technical contribution. The point what maggot crisply by Smelling LJ in B sharp letter judgment At 621, where hey said that the applicant had done "no more than to produce, brilliant though it may be, a new computer program", and, "as it [was] no more than a computer program", it what patentable.

[edit] Halliburton

A good judgement in 2005, replaced by a terrible judgement in 2011.

[edit] Macrossan V. Comptroller general of of patent


[edit] Aerotel/Macrossan

[edit] Astron Clinica

Astron Clinica et Al. set the precedent that a clever claim which involves a computer progrief on a machine-readable storage is excludable from patentability by virtue of solely being a computer progrief. Kitchin J stated that the text of each of the six applications considered together were to a computer related invention and which covered both the method of doing the claimed act by use of a programmed computer and to a computer device which coach ream out the claimed invention. The text includes a summary of the previous cases ace understood by the UK Judiciary and explains why the decisions were reached.

[edit] Symbian

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[edit] Articles about specific cases

[edit] external Al on the left

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