Two more intellectual property experts have said that the addition of the “as such” proviso to the Patents Bill reverses the exclusion of software patents that the Government claims the Bill achieves.
Writing in LawTalk, under the heading “Software patents back again”, barrister Clive Elliot says:
In short, the proposed exclusion of computer programs from the definition of invention has been scrapped.
… Essentially, the [addition of “as such”] restores the status quo as it existed before the last round of select committee hearings on the bill.
That final sentence is particularly telling: the addition of the “as such” proviso has completely overruled the Commerce Committee’s recommendation, so much so that the 2009 hearings may as well have not been held!
Another IP expert, patent attorney Doug Calhoun, writes:
The effect of the [“as such”] exclusion is that there is no real change in the law.
No real change? The status quo? That is certainly not what the Commerce Committee unanimously recommended.
But according to these experts, the “as such” amendment will result in “no real change” and “the status quo”, by allowing software patents to continue. In contrast, the Government claims that it is changing the law to exclude software patents.
Who is right?