question about software patents (sandisk/sisvel)

Alex Hudson home at
Mon Sep 4 20:02:32 UTC 2006

On Mon, 2006-09-04 at 21:40 +0200, Hanno Böck wrote:
> Now, from what I know, software patents aren't allowed in europe (that's why 
> we were demonstrating in front of the european parliament last spring and 
> succeeded).

That's not really true, unfortunately.

Per se, patents on software are not allowable. However, there is no
bright-line test for "Is this a software patent?". So, if you can
convince your patent office and/or a judge that your patent is not
really about software, then you have an enforceable patent - even if
others think it's a software patent.

> I never got a really competent answer on why the mp3-patent seems to be valid 
> in europe, so I hope anyone here has deeper knowledge.

mp3 is a slightly tricky area. There are a number of patents which cover
mp3, over different aspects of the technology. 

As an example of bad software patents, it's not necessarily that good -
some aspects of the patents cover some very innovative technology and
aren't really about software. Depending on which patent you're talking
about (I can't read the article, I'm afraid!) it could be enforceable
for a variety of reasons.



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