22 September 2011

Computer Implemented Purchase of Domain Names - Not Patentable

Here's another decision where "computer implementation" does not provide the necessary subject matter -

In short, it is simply not enough that a computer is used. The nature of the invention must be such that it is practically necessary to make use of a computer. In this case, I think that further technical information should have been supplied as to how the method was automated and what advantages those provided over and above carrying out the steps manually. On the other hand, having briefly read the specification, there is clearly an argument to me made that computer implementation is necessary.

There is invention in automation, of course, so I believe that the Commissioner and our courts need to be wary of simply relying on the fact that a computer-implemented invention can be carried out manually since that may me saying that automating an otherwise manual operation is not proper subject matter.

21 September 2011

Computer Implemented Insurance Plan - Not Patentable

Discovery Holdings Limited [2011] APO 56

"From reading the specification as a whole the alleged invention lies within the method of managing a life insurance plan. The steps involved in this process are mere actions to be taken by legal entities as elements in a business scheme and as such, no concrete, tangible, physical or observable effect is produced as a result of the implementation of the claimed method. Therefore the method is not a manner of manufacture." - The Delegate

I couldn't have said it better.

8 Reasons Why Pirating Hurts Everyone

I realise that this is not strictly speaking associated with the registration of IP. But it is related and very relevant.

Worth a read.

10 September 2011

Alignment of US and International Patent Practice

The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), H.R. 1249, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on June 23, 2011, and by the U.S. Senate on September 8, 2011. The bill now goes to President Obama to be signed into law. http://www.uspto.gov/patents/init_events/aia_implementation.jsp

One of the most important provisions of this Act is that it introduces a "first-to-file" system as opposed to the "first-to-invent" system that is currently in place. This will bring the US system into line with the "first-to-file" system used in Australia. While it has its detractors, I welcome this change because, to some extent, it saves my clients having to adopt a different set of rules for the US. In the complex world of patent practice, any such alignment is to be welcomed.

Here's the wiki on the difference between the two systems: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_to_file_and_first_to_invent