That anti-patent pamphlet I mentioned

Marcus Brinkmann Marcus.Brinkmann at
Tue Dec 10 18:18:50 UTC 2002

On Tue, Dec 10, 2002 at 08:06:09AM +0100, Xavi Drudis Ferran wrote:
> > > There is also the 17th senate that does not agree in that software 
> > > is patentable, I believe. I've heard there are cases in one sense 
> > > and another. But possibly we should come down to too much detail 
> > > to find out. 
> > 
> > Can you please tell me what the 17th senate is? I was at
> > an EPO conference a few weeks ago, and a member of the German
> > patent office presented to us the German case law. From this
> > I got the impression the general view in Germany is what the
> > BGH said.
> >
> I need to find references. I think it is called BGH17 in German, 
> but I don't speak German. Sorry. There is also an interesting case 
> in Poland, I think, though Poland is not yet in the EU (nor the EPC,
> I think).

It's probably the PatG/17.  The PatG/21 is responsible for electronics and
is more pro-software patents (and by being cleverm, they get a lot of
software related cases to the PatG/21 to push them through, instead of the
PatG/17 which is really responsible for Software and would deny the patent).

In the case of IBM's error correction case, the PatG/17 did reject the
patent because it was software (they rejected the idea of a distinction
between "software as such" and any other form of software), the BGH/10
nullified this decision and had it revised (one main argument being that
the software could be potentially have a "technical effect"), and in the
revision the PatG/17 rejected it again (because it wasmore likely the errors
being corrected were human errors rather than machine errors)[1].  IIRC, I am
only studying the happenings at that level of detail since yesterday.

[1] Apparently they weren't thinking of scanners and OCR.  My girl friend in
fact developed a similar algorithm in an OCR project at the university
around the time the courts made their decisions, without knowing of IBMs
patent.  It's grotesk that the patent was not outright rejected by common
sense at all levels of the system.  Apparently the algorithm was obvious to
an undergraduated student, not even to talk about the experts skilled in the art.

`Rhubarb is no Egyptian god.' GNU    marcus at
Marcus Brinkmann              The Hurd
Marcus.Brinkmann at

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