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An Important Market: Software Patenting in Japan

code_invertedToday on IPcopy we have a guest post from Mr. Kenji Sugimura and Ms Rebecca Chen of Sugimura International Patent & Trademark Attorneys on the subject of software patents in Japan. This post appears on the Sugimura website and has been reproduced with the permission of the authors.

Software is one of the most innovative and fastest growing industries in the world, leading corporations to turn increasingly to patents to protect their software-related inventions. Businesses have begun to leverage the value of software-related patents, evidenced by the prolific mobile patent wars and the wave of multibillion dollar patent portfolio acquisitions.

Including Japan in a company’s international patent prosecution strategy is crucial for several reasons. Japan is the third largest economy in the world. Additionally, Japan has the second highest number of registered software-related patents in the world. These registered patents cover a wide range of technologies including embedded software in consumer goods and appliances and developments in vehicle network technology. Japanese companies also rank among the top patent filers.

As the applicability of software inventions continues to broaden, more opportunities are created for inventors to license their patented inventions to these Japanese companies. Given the importance of the Japanese industry and the opportunities within the software-related technology in the global marketplace, it is imperative for companies to develop international patent prosecution strategies with Japan in mind. Specifically, foreign companies should be aware of the similarities and differences in prosecuting software-related patents in Japan and in their home countries. (more…)

New to IP? Here’s 10 facts about Intellectual Property

file2611249338382The aim of this article is to very briefly introduce some topics, facts and issues from the area of intellectual property law. This article is aimed at people who have had little or no contact with intellectual property and is designed as a (very brief) primer to highlight some particular elements of the subject area. (more…)

London Tech Week 2014 – Top patent issues

LTW14-Logo-slideKeltie took part in London Technology Week between 16 and 20 June. We ran an IP seminar and held a number of IP clinics throughout the week and we’d like to say thank you to everyone that came along to the seminar and signed up to one of the clinics.

We discussed many patent, trade mark and design related issues throughout the week but a number of common themes kept cropping up which we thought we’d revisit in a blog post. Today’s post focusses on the patent related issues that we discussed. (more…)

5 Common Misconceptions about “Software Patents”

code_invertedKeltie is part of London Technology Week which runs from 16 to 20 June. As part of this, IPcopy takes a look at a few of the most common misconceptions regarding software patents (or more accurately patents for computer-implemented inventions):

1) You can’t patent software

Probably the most widely-held misconception is that patents can’t be granted for software inventions in the UK/Europe. This probably stems from the letter of the law which states that a program for a computer is not patentable…”as such”. These two words have led to a long and complicated history of court cases in the UK and Europe regarding the patentability of computer-implemented inventions.

In short, however, if it can be demonstrated the the software solves a technical problem (such as reducing the memory required or improving the efficiency of the process) it is possible to get a patent granted in the UK and Europe. (more…)

How the UKIPO assess computer implemented inventions (CIPA Seminar)

cipalogoThis is a slightly belated review of the CIPA seminar, “Computer Programs & Excluded Matter”, held at CIPA Hall on 7 April 2014 and attended by this ipcopywriter.

The seminar was presented by two senior examiners from the UK Intellectual Property Office, Dr Russell Maurice and Dr Stephen Richardson, both very enthusiastic and articulate speakers. The structure of the seminar was based on training sessions given to UKIPO examiners and involved a presentation regarding excluded matter under the Patents Act. This was followed by a review of a handful of case studies in small groups to test the principles that we had just been taught, and then finished up with a discussion of the decisions reached by the groups.

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IPcopy during late July/August

holidayThe summer holiday season is winding down now but IPcopy has been busy throughout! Just in case you’ve missed the odd article or two, here’s a summary of what we’ve been on about since late July.

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New Zealand has NOT banned “software patents”

New ZealandSeemingly from New Zealand to London and from New York to Kalamazoo, the Internet has been awash with news articles announcing that New Zealand has banned software patents*. There’s only one small problem: the “NZ bans software patents” title is bobbins because, simply put, New Zealand has not banned “software patents”! So what’s this hullabaloo about and why are all the popular articles such an omnishambles? (more…)

IP Hit or Miss? Software Patents in Europe

code_invertedIn a recent article in the Guardian regarding President Obama’s plans to curb the perceived abuse of the patent system by non-practising entities (also known as patent trolls), the author points out that none of the recommendations involve a ban on software patent in the US, stating that:

“Nowhere in the administration’s recommendations is one that already applies in Europe: an outright ban on software patents…”

But is there such an “outright ban” on “software patents” (computer-implemented inventions) in Europe?

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