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Article: The Current Dilemma and Future of Software Patenting

TitleThe Current Dilemma and Future of Software Patenting
Authors
KeywordsSoftware patent
Computer program
Alice v. CLS
Abstract idea
Innovation
Issue Date2019
PublisherSpringer. The Journal's web site is located at https://www.springer.com/journal/40319
Citation
IIC - International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law, 2019, v. 50 n. 7, p. 823-859 How to Cite?
AbstractThe unprecedented division over patent eligibility based on the “abstract idea” construct among the courts and judges in the Alice v. CLS case, the post-Alice contradictory decisions and the trend of rejecting or invalidating software patents, as well as the uncertainty about the concept of “computer program as such” (or “per se”) in Europe and China, present a chaotic reality and serious dilemma as to the future direction of the software patenting regime around the world. The recent revisions to patent examination guidelines by the patent offices in the US, Europe and China, particularly the “grouping” of “abstract ideas” by the USPTO, providing examples of a “further technical effect” by the EPO, and distinguishing a “computer program per se” and “computer-implemented inventions” by the CNIPA, although helpful in patent examinations, cannot solve the root problem and fix the dilemma. A more general definition, or a “safe harbour”, for the “abstract idea” or computer program “as such” is needed. In addition, to prevent patent trolls and promote true software innovation, the scope and length of software patent protection should be limited, e.g. allowing only the means of implementation but not the function to be patented; and granting 10 years of utility-model-type or sui generis protection. All the above proposed reforms should be undertaken at the international level, e.g. by adopting a Software Treaty under the auspices of the WIPO, because the software patent dilemma is a global one that deserves an international solution, especially in the age of the internet where most of the software patents cover borderless internet technologies.
DescriptionUniversity of Hong Kong Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2019/032
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/294307
ISSN
SSRN

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorLi, Y-
dc.date.accessioned2020-11-23T08:29:30Z-
dc.date.available2020-11-23T08:29:30Z-
dc.date.issued2019-
dc.identifier.citationIIC - International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law, 2019, v. 50 n. 7, p. 823-859-
dc.identifier.issn2195-0237-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/294307-
dc.descriptionUniversity of Hong Kong Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2019/032-
dc.description.abstractThe unprecedented division over patent eligibility based on the “abstract idea” construct among the courts and judges in the Alice v. CLS case, the post-Alice contradictory decisions and the trend of rejecting or invalidating software patents, as well as the uncertainty about the concept of “computer program as such” (or “per se”) in Europe and China, present a chaotic reality and serious dilemma as to the future direction of the software patenting regime around the world. The recent revisions to patent examination guidelines by the patent offices in the US, Europe and China, particularly the “grouping” of “abstract ideas” by the USPTO, providing examples of a “further technical effect” by the EPO, and distinguishing a “computer program per se” and “computer-implemented inventions” by the CNIPA, although helpful in patent examinations, cannot solve the root problem and fix the dilemma. A more general definition, or a “safe harbour”, for the “abstract idea” or computer program “as such” is needed. In addition, to prevent patent trolls and promote true software innovation, the scope and length of software patent protection should be limited, e.g. allowing only the means of implementation but not the function to be patented; and granting 10 years of utility-model-type or sui generis protection. All the above proposed reforms should be undertaken at the international level, e.g. by adopting a Software Treaty under the auspices of the WIPO, because the software patent dilemma is a global one that deserves an international solution, especially in the age of the internet where most of the software patents cover borderless internet technologies.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherSpringer. The Journal's web site is located at https://www.springer.com/journal/40319-
dc.relation.ispartofIIC - International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law-
dc.rightsThis is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in IIC - International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law. The final authenticated version is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40319-019-00841-w-
dc.subjectSoftware patent-
dc.subjectComputer program-
dc.subjectAlice v. CLS-
dc.subjectAbstract idea-
dc.subjectInnovation-
dc.titleThe Current Dilemma and Future of Software Patenting-
dc.typeArticle-
dc.identifier.emailLi, Y: yali@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.authorityLi, Y=rp01260-
dc.description.naturepostprint-
dc.identifier.doi10.1007/s40319-019-00841-w-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-85069536705-
dc.identifier.hkuros319016-
dc.identifier.volume50-
dc.identifier.issue7-
dc.identifier.spage823-
dc.identifier.epage859-
dc.publisher.placeGermany-
dc.identifier.ssrn3423271-
dc.identifier.hkulrp2019/032-

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