- Is it new? Is it inventive ? Does it have industrial application?
- Those are some of the first few questions each inventor will be asked ( directly / indirectly) when they go to see a Patent Agent.
- However, while these may seem like simple questions, already there may be a problem with certain kinds of technologies, for example software implemented inventions, which may utilize open source code, or libraries that have themselves grown out of collaborative endeavors, making it hard to distinctly identify what the “contribution to the art” actually is.
- IN addition, note that in UK (as in most parts of Europe) patents cannot be granted for some computer-implemented inventions since software straddles the technological and business worlds. It uses technology, i.e. computers, but sometimes for non-technical purposes. Further, there is a long held bias that copyright sufficiently protects computer code, for Patents to be allowed to muscle in (at least in Europe).
- Whether a computer-implemented invention is patentable depends on the contribution the invention makes (known commonly as “technical effect”- which itself is somewhat difficult to define, leaving jurists to invent all sorts of stories/ or theories if you like, about its exact nature i.e its if the process/ invention involve a machine that transforms something into a different state, etc, etc).
- OK, so if it provides improved control of a car braking system, it is likely to be patentable, but if it merely provides an improved accounting system, or better resolution, then it is probably not patentable?