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The Technology Criterion in Patent Law: A controversial but indispensable requirement
by:Reinier B. Bakels
Patenting allegedly non-technical subject-matter, like software and business methods, is controversial, both from a political and a legal perspective. Political opinions about patents in these fields vary from "indispensable" to "disastrous." Lawyers complain about opaque rules that would violate statutes. US law allows patents on non-technical...
Patenting allegedly non-technical subject-matter, like software and business methods, is controversial, both from a political and a legal perspective. Political opinions about patents in these fields vary from "indispensable" to "disastrous." Lawyers complain about opaque rules that would violate statutes. US law allows patents on non-technical subject-matter, but it excludes "abstract ideas," an exclusion that leads to remarkably similar controversies, again both at the political and the legal level. Coincidentally, in 2010, both the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office and the US Supreme Court addressed these problems, but unfortunately both failed to provide the clarification one had hoped for. This book gives a unique explanation why patents logically should only be granted for technology, and how the technology concept should be interpreted in order to solve today's controversies, both at the legal and the policy level.
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