Converting/Splitting Code - Open to Closed

Dave J Woolley david.woolley at
Fri Feb 16 11:27:17 UTC 2001

> Forutnately for us Europeans, that doesn't apply here - software and
> algorithms are, IIUC, non-patentable in Europe. IANAL
[DJW:]  The recent UK government consultation paper++ on
the possibility of introducing US like software patents
said that European law allowed software patents where the
invention had "technical effect", but didn't define 
"technical effect".

I'm not competent to interpret it and I'm sure the lawyers will
not attempt to interpret except in the contezxt of a specific 
client relationship, so there has to be an element of FUD
there.  (I didn't get the impression that this was limited to
"embeded *systems*".)

++ Unfortunately they didn't archive the URL, so it is now 
a dead link.  However, I believe the EEC is still considering
the issue of software patents and had had some advice against
taking them to US levels:

One telling quote is:
The current legal situation is unsatisfactory because it is lacking clarity
and legal certainty. Computer programs "as such" are excluded from
patentability. Yet, thousands of patents for technical inventions using a
computer program have been granted by national patent offices and by the
European Patent Office (EPO).
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