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is software patentable?

5 February 2018

In this video Giles explains what a ‘technical contribution’ is, the five signposts for determining whether your software has technical contribution, and what this means for software patents.


Speaker key
Giles Parsons

The law says that software as such isn’t patentable. But software maybe patentable if there is a technical contribution outside of the computer programme.

This is a developing area of law, but the English courts have set out five signposts which can help identify whether or not there is a technical contribution.

Firstly: they will look to see whether there is a technical effect on a process which is being carried on outside of the computer; and

Secondly: whether the technical effect operates at the level of the architecture of the computer;

Thirdly: does the technical effect make the computer operate in a new way; and

Fourthly: does the technical effect make the computer a better computer in the sense of operating more effectively and more efficiently as a computer; and

Finally whether or not the perceived problem is merely being circumvented or whether it is actually being overcome.

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The opinions expressed on this video are provided for the purposes of general interest and information and should not be relied upon. They contain only summaries of aspects of the subject matter at the time of publishing and do not provide comprehensive statements of the law. They do not constitute legal advice and do not provide a substitute for it. So why not talk to us and seek advice that's tailored to you? You can look up one of our experts on this website or call on 0370 270 6000.

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