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Patentability of Software in the UK gets a twist in the High Court


computer simulation software may now be patentable in the UK

Computer Simulation software may now be
patentable without there being a finished
product

Under the European Patent Convention, Schemes, Rules and Methods for performing mental acts, playing games or doing business, and programs for computers are not patentable (EPC Article 52(2)).


A recent case from the High Court has ruled that a computer simulation to do with designing a roller cone drill bit for drilling oil wells (and the like), and simulating use of the designed drill bit, may be patentable in certain circumstances, and is not excluded from patentability by the above exclusion.


This means that companies can now patent a computer simulated design process without there being a finished product.


The High Court overruled a decision of the UK Intellectual Property Office to decline Halliburton’s application to patent the design process of a drill bit on the on the basis that the design process was limited to implementation on a computer.


More details can be found here.