EPO replies to Court of Appeal's Macrossan decision | Practical Law

EPO replies to Court of Appeal's Macrossan decision | Practical Law

In its judgment in the Aerotel/Macrossan case ([2006] EWCA Civ 1371; see Legal update, Court of Appeal reviews approach to patentability of software and business methods), the Court of Appeal pointed out inconsistencies in the European Patent Office (EPO) case law on the exclusions to patentability set out in Article 52(2) of the EPC, and urged the EPO President to refer questions on this issue to the EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal. The President has now replied, stating that the Aerotel/Macrossan decision had led to a discussion within the EPO as to the possibility of such a reference. However, he had decided that at present there was an insufficient legal basis for a referral. He believed that there were insufficient differences between current Board of Appeal decisions dealing with Article 52 exclusions on important points of law to justify a referral at this stage. Source: UK Patent Office, The text of the EPO President's letter to Jacob LJ, 5 March 2007.

EPO replies to Court of Appeal's Macrossan decision

Practical Law UK Legal Update 8-239-8971 (Approx. 3 pages)

EPO replies to Court of Appeal's Macrossan decision

by PLC IP&IT
Law stated as at 05 Mar 2007International, United Kingdom
In its judgment in the Aerotel/Macrossan case ([2006] EWCA Civ 1371; see Legal update, Court of Appeal reviews approach to patentability of software and business methods), the Court of Appeal pointed out inconsistencies in the European Patent Office (EPO) case law on the exclusions to patentability set out in Article 52(2) of the EPC, and urged the EPO President to refer questions on this issue to the EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal. The President has now replied, stating that the Aerotel/Macrossan decision had led to a discussion within the EPO as to the possibility of such a reference. However, he had decided that at present there was an insufficient legal basis for a referral. He believed that there were insufficient differences between current Board of Appeal decisions dealing with Article 52 exclusions on important points of law to justify a referral at this stage. Source: UK Patent Office, The text of the EPO President's letter to Jacob LJ, 5 March 2007.
NOTE: On 22 October 2008, following a change in the EPO presidency, the new incumbent decided to refer four questions on the law relating to patentability of computer programs to the EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal (see Legal update, EPO President refers questions on software patents to Enlarged Board). On 12 May 2010, the EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal decided that the referral of questions by the EPO President was not admissible (see Legal update, EPO Enlarged Board rejects President's referral on software patents). (Details of PLC IPIT & Communications' policy on annotating case reports are set out here.)