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Don't Discount Computer-Related Inventions from Patentability

By: Anne Campbell and David Wraige

There is a general belief that it is not worth applying for patent protection for computer-implemented inventions and software in Europe because the legislation, at first glance, excludes computer programs and business methods from patentability. However, these sorts of exclusions have been modified over the last few years, in many cases allowing companies to seek meaningful patent protection for software both in Europe and the U.S.A.

Mintz Levin Attorneys Anne Campbell and David Wraige of the London based IP Practice recently published an article on the changing patent landscape in Cleantech Business News. As Anne and David explain in “Computer-Implemented Inventions - are they patentable?”, many computer-implemented methods are now considered to be more than just a computer program under patent law and may therefore be patentable. To obtain patent protection in Europe, the invention must make a technical contribution to the world. In the cleantech industry for example, computer-implemented control of a solar panel could be patentable. More recently, software that results in an improvement in the efficiency of a computer system has been held to be patentable in the UK.

Mintz Levin stays on top of all of the latest energy and clean technology news at its Energy & Clean Technology Matters blog and with regulatory and legislative developments from ML Strategies weekly Energy and Environmental Update.

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Thomas R. Burton, III

Member / Chair, Energy & Sustainability Practice

Tom Burton has helped to shape the clean energy industry by drawing on his passion for innovation. As a Mintz attorney, Tom counsels investors, entrepreneurs, and Fortune 100 companies. He also guides start-up organizations and accelerators to foster the next generation of energy leaders.