18 December 2006

British Judges - Gawd Bless 'Em

Here's a interesting little tale of two nations sharing a common tongue but divided by patent culture:

In the US the courts found that Smith had infringed the patents in its use of similar designing software and ordered that it remove certain functions from its software.

The English court took a rigorous approach to analysing the patents and found that it did not adequately describe the system it sought to patent. In order to be valid a patent must describe a process so completely that a person who knows that subject area must be able to replicate it using only the contents of the patent.

The High Court found that Halliburton's patent did not do that, and the Court of Appeal has now agreed. Justice Jacob ruled that the patent was missing vital details, contained wrong equations, demanded a higher level of expertise than allowed and that it relied on material external to the patent, and therefore was not a valid patent.

Shot, sir!

A pity they didn't just chuck it on the basis you can't patent software, but at least the bewigged gents "took a rigorous approach."

No comments: