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Software Patents Re: MP3 decoders' non-freeness

On Tue, 6 Aug 2002, Arnoud Galactus Engelfriet wrote:

> Alexandre Dulaunoy wrote:
> > 	Software Patent is legal in some countries (like US and Japan) and 
> > is illegal in Europe (in the article 52 of the Munich Convention). If you 
> > care about Software Patents, you should take this point into consideration. 
> You should also take into consideration that the ultimate interpretation
> of article 52(2) and in particular its limitation given in 52(3) is
> something for the national European courts. And it is not at all
> clear whether all national European courts will follow this interpretation
> of the EPC. 
> In other words, even though you think that 52(2) and (3) can only
> be explained one way, do not be surprised if national courts decide
> otherwise. IIRC the UK courts routinely accept software-related
> patents, and even the Germans often have no problems with this.

	Ok. Please explain me how you can make Software Patents valid
with the provision 52(3) ? As you can see 52(c) clearly exclude programs 
for computers and the 52(a) excludes also the mathematical methods. I 
won't talk about the (b) but it's a also a possibility for Software 

	The provision 52(3) is only for combination. Like you can get a 
patent on an additional systems (like hardware/software combination,...)  
that are using method from #2. I don't really how you can allow Software 
Patents from that ? Could you explain (without the magical and 
wonderful "technical effect" of EPO ;-) ? 

	Thanks a lot.

	Have a nice day.


The article 52 from the Munich Convention : 

Article 52 * - Patentable inventions
(1) European patents shall be granted for any inventions which are 
susceptible of industrial application, which are new and which involve an 
inventive step.

(2) The following in particular shall not be regarded as inventions within 
the meaning of paragraph 1:

(a) discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods;

(b) aesthetic creations;

(c) schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, playing games 
or doing business, and programs for computers;

(d) presentations of information.

(3) The provisions of paragraph 2 shall exclude patentability of the 
subject-matter or activities referred to in that provision only to the 
extent to which a European patent application or European patent relates 
to such subject-matter or activities as such.

(4) Methods for treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or 
therapy and diagnostic methods practised on the human or animal body shall 
not be regarded as inventions which are susceptible of industrial 
application within the meaning of paragraph 1. This provision shall not 
apply to products, in particular substances or compositions, for use in 
any of these methods.

Alexandre Dulaunoy		http://www.foo.be/
AD993-RIPE			http://www.ael.be/
"People who fight may lose.  People who do not fight have already lost."
  - Bertolt Brecht

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