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What are the key issues in relation to protection of computer-implemented inventions by the patent regime? What are the main alternative approaches to protecting IP investment in this field? What differences (if any) exist between the way CII patents are approached in the United Kingdom and Europe? How do those approaches compare with those of other national regimes?

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Introduction

The key issue with regard to software in general is that it is remarkably difficult to classify it within a specific category of intellectual property protection[1]. Thus, on one side there is reasonable doubt that software per se provides for sufficient technological contribution to come under the to quid pro quo concept of patent system and thus is an excluded as subject matter to come under patentability[2]. On the other side, the are strong arguments that patent regime expands the protection of software, and allows a creator, without being obstructed by the boundaries of idea/expression dichotomy, to seek protection for the non-literal elements of software creation by claiming the functional aspects thereof[3]. However, the hurdle of sufficient technicality to come under the definition of an invention in terms of the respective patent law[4] and the various approaches thereto along with requirements to stand the plurality of tests for patentability with regard the key elements[5] of the patent system which are lively debated in the patent world. ...read more.

Middle

In Japan, software related inventions are patentable if such an invention can be defined as being a creation of technical idea utilizing laws of nature. Therefore, such as business method per se, computer programming language itself and gaming rules are non-statutory inventions[11]. Although the Japanese Practice gives guidance for formulation of claim preambles which make the wording meet this requirement[12], it remarkable that non-statutory inventions are to be rejected[13] if insufficiently utilizing the law of nature which is not required in statutes for the any other trilateral patent systems[14]. In my humble opinion, software inventions are a good thing also long as they confined within the strong containment of technological contribution. Thus, from evolutional view[15], with marriage of software and hardware in modern technology, software has established itself as quid pro quo related subject matter. Nevertheless, there is ample room for discussion how deal with software with low or none technicality. Some scholars suggest a sui generis system with lower monopoly terms seems to be most effective, and I agree thereto since it clears the patent thickens and lives up to reality of short life cycle products[16]. ...read more.

Conclusion

that was amended in many important respects by the UK Data Protection Act 2003; [7] Aerotel/Macrossan [2006] EWCA Civ 1371; Aerotel Ltd v Telco Holdings Ltd [2006] EWCA Civ 1371; [2007] 1 All E.R [8] EPC Arts. 52(2)(c) 52(3) [9] EPC 2000 Art 52(1) in line with TRIPs. Art 27 [10] Paul Cole, ePatenting computer-implemented-inventions (CIIs) in the EPOÂf (Patentlyo Patent Law blog, 13 May 2010) <http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2010/05/patenting-computer-implemented-inventions-ciis-in-the-epo.html> accessed on 09 Oktober 2013 [11]JPO Examination Guidelines; Chapter 1 Computer Software-Related Inventions; Examples for successful Claims <http://www.jpo.go.jp/tetuzuki_e/t_tokkyo_e/Guidelines/7_1.pdf> accessed on 10 October 2013 [12]JPO Examination Guidelines; Chapter 1 Computer Software-Related Inventions <http://www.jpo.go.jp/tetuzuki_e/t_tokkyo_e/Guidelines/7_1.pdf> accessed on 10 October 2013 [13] Japan Patent Law, main paragraph of Art. 29(1) [14] Unique Japanese Patent Office Practice: Software Related Inventions < http://www.jpaa.or.jp/english/patent/unique_jpo_practices.html#subcontents4 > accessed on 10 October 2013 [15] Software, e.g. in control systems technology, completely absorbed the field of cam plates for control system engineering that was inventive subject matter at time when computers were not able to perform control methods for mechanical systems. [16] Richard Stern, 'Chapter 13: Sui Generis Protection of Software ' (Cases and Materials) Computer Law 484 <http://docs.law.gwu.edu/facweb/claw/ch-13.htm> accessed on 11 October 2013 ...read more.

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