IT and Software

The team of attorneys working on patents in the IT and software sector come from our electronics & engineering departments.  With knowledge of the different legal requirements around the world, and the strategies that work best, our specialist attorneys have an outstanding track record in securing patent protection in this difficult technical area which includes innovations on the very fringes of what is considered to be eligible for patent protection. We also have a team of lawyers who will be able to advise you on any legal issue that may need attention.

As with any other type of invention, inventions that are implemented solely in software must be new and non-obvious in order to be patentable. In addition, European patent applications for computer-implemented inventions may have to contend with the ‘computer program’ exclusion. However, in many cases the chances of success can be greatly improved by taking care when drafting the application to emphasise any so-called ‘technical effects’ provided by the software. For example, if the new software causes a device to operate more reliably or more efficiently, this may constitute a technical effect that can render the software eligible for patent protection in Europe.

We ensure that our attorneys are kept abreast of the latest developments in this complex area of patent law, not only for Europe but also for other jurisdictions. As a result, we have established an enviable track record when it comes to the prosecution of patent applications in this field, despite the difficult legal issues.

Copyright protection is automatic for original software, both in source code and in compiled form. Database right protects compilations in numerous forms, and is especially relevant to electronic databases. Our attorneys are able to advise clients with respect to third party rights, as well as in relation to infringement of their own rights.