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    “Therefore, an apparatus or a system for using software would not be excluded from patentability.”

    Just add a computer and it becomes magically patentable?

  2. 2


    It is all about the terminology that you use and the way in which you phrase your claim. Claiming the technical effect or impact of the software on a computer system should provide a means of circumventing the prohibition. E.g. if the software makes a computer run more efficiently you direct your patent application to the manner in which the software provides this increase in efficiency. You then claim a computer system having the additional “efficiency increasing” features provided by the software.

  3. 3


    As a software developer myself, I can honestly say that software patents are a terribly bad idea.

  4. 4


    South Africa chose the correct path when it disallowed software patents in the first place. Patent attorneys have discredited the idea of software patents by allowing ridiculous concepts such as a the double click to be patentable.

  5. 5


    An objective statistical analysis of the impact of strategic patenting on software innovation is available here: //  “There are four key empirical findings in the paper. First, there are large, positive technology spill-overs from R&D for software firms. Second, we find that patenting by technology rivals reduces the firms’ R&D investment, patenting and market value. Third, greater concentration (less fragmentation) of patent rights among rivals reduces both R&D and patenting by the firm – reflecting less need to have an arsenal of patents to resolve disputes when there are fewer players but it increases market value because transaction costs are lower. Finally, we note that there is a large patent premium in the stock market valuation of these software firms which accounts for about twenty percent of the overall private returns to R&D investments.” 

  6. 6

    Martin Paulo

    No: Don’t go down the software patent path: the only people who will be empowered will be the lawyers and the firms that can afford them. Read this for more details: //

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