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08.23.10

EU: Advocate General on Community Patent and Software Patents Still at Stake

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dark Euro

Summary: A response from high authority is discovered and discussed, raising suspicions that the United Patent Litigation System (UPLS) will be revised

THE SITUATION in Europe when it comes to software patents (aka “computer-implemented inventions”) is far from resolved. There is UPLS lurking and struggling for breathing space [1, 2]. Additionally, Microsoft and its buddies at Siemens have been pushing software patents into Europe via the German courts [1, 2]. Since when can the courtroom determine patentability of software? This whole situation is rather troubling.

Based on Bristows.com, the “Advocate General says ‘non’ to the Community Patent and a European Patents Court” and the FFII’s president opines that UPLS will therefore be rewritten.

Advocate General says “non” to the Community Patent and a European Patents Court

[...]

In short, the fate of the single Court and single patent remains in the balance, but the scales look to be tipping badly against them. We await the decision of the ECJ itself with great interest.

Horns has also responded to these remarks from the Court of Justice of the European Union. His words are interpreted as suggesting that “the Court would decide on the patentability of computer-implemented inventions”:

Only now I have stumbled upon Opinion 01/09 – Statement by the Advocates General of the Court of Justice of the European Union concerning the European Patent and the Community Patent Court as planned by the EU Council; see my earlier postings here, there and there. The date on that Document (Original in French only) is July 2, 2010; however, the Opinion was not published on the Official website of the Court of Justice of the European Union (formerly known as European Court of Justice, or ECJ for short). A link to the French version was posted on August 19, 2010, on EPLAW Patent Blog.

I won’t understand those childish games played by interested circles inside of and close to the EU Council in a futile attempt to withhold such important documents from the eyes of the general public.

[...]

Hence, the Document summarises that the creation of the PC as an international court does not conflict with the objections of principle drawn from the provisions of the treaties on the European Union judicial system. However, the decisions of the European Patent Office (EPO) on patents may form the subject of an effective judicial appeal before an independent court within whose scope a correct and uniform application of Union law will be assured.

Given that the EU court system has already been responsible for some software patents, this whole situation is definitely worth keeping an eye on.

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