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Titill

Software Patents and the EPO: Should software patents be granted under the European patent system?

Leiðbeinandi
Útdráttur

This dissertation discusses the European patent system under the European Patent
Convention of 1977 in relation to software patents. Software patents and their
granting is a matter of some controversy throughout the world and it is debated
whether or not such patents should be granted at all. The central question this
dissertation addresses is whether software patents should be granted under the
European patent system. For the purpose of answering this question the definitions of
patents, software and software patents are examined. The granting of software patents
under the European patent system as it is under the European Patent Convention is
examined and the history of software patents in Europe is outlined. For comparison
the granting of software patents under the United States' patent system and its results
are also explored. How the European patent system deals with three important
arguments is then thoroughly examined; that software is mathematics, that software
patents are not economically viable and that the test of technical character results in
legal uncertainty. Finally the conclusions are that software patents should not be
granted under the current patent regime for software patents do not bring about the
desired effects in the political and economic sense. Moreover, the legal justifications by the European Patent Office for the granting of such patents under the European Patent Convention are not solid enough.

Birting
24.6.2009


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