Symbian Limited or Comptroller General of Patents court case

Symbian Limited or Comptroller General of Patents court case

The software patents issue originated a large controversy in UK law. The court opposed the UK law (IPO) strongly. In most mobile processes, software programs are present. So this is a claim for the protection of these software programs. This judgment proves the difference between EPO and IPO examiner.

Highlights of (1977) patent act UK law

According to the highlights of this act, then we understand that a patent act is granted only to cover the criteria such as non-obviousness, usefulness, or novelty. Under the act of s1(2), the topic of a software program is not considered a patent. For the last two decades, this has been an unsolvable problem.

Case study of Symbian Limited

An operating system is proposed by Symbian that use in mobile phones. A company wants hardware protection to work in DLL(dynamic link library). The main function of a DLL is to protect or save the memory. It is very popular around the world. The new several adding or upgrading features come with the more accurate work of DLL. The Simian gave its idea to split the DLL. But this appeal of simian is rejected by IPO. It is rejected because, according to IPO, it is just a computer programme. Then this decision took to the high court by Symbian or became successful.

The request of the UK Comptroller General of Patents

The Court of Appeal explores a software program profess at the request of the Comptroller General of Patents. After declaring that the topic of DLL is not rejected on the criteria of the patentable invention under the European or Act Patent Convention. The Court of Appeal UK took this decision to play an important role in granting patent confusion in a software field. It requires more time. After this case, many disagreements and agreement issues arose. But this judgment provides new ways to patent software granting.

From the survey of this case, all software forms that represent an improvement of a non-obvious in-the-art state or have novelty will consider under patent protection.

What issued District Court?

The district court issues a preliminary restraining injunction. It stopped operating a feature express lane used for product ordering on the website of Barnesandnoble.Com because it disobeys the patent of Inc 411 of

The court stated that a method is described by patent 411. A way in which people can finish their purchasing order with a single click of the computer mouse. The description of items will show to consumers, so with a single action, they purchase items.

In 1997, the CEO of gave the idea to become able users of to buy products with a single action. The 411 patent rise with this idea was implemented commercially in 1997 September by in 1998 May, started again using its ordering feature express lane. For customers registering this feature of buying items, the express lane allows them to check the description and details of products on the express lane with a simple click. Or they make sure that the item is purchased or not. This express lane now invites more customers to buy items with one click.

After the issue of the 411 patent, a case was filed by The defendant’s express lane operation disobeyed the 411 patent in this case. These defendants said that Amazon. Com not success just because invalid 411 patent in anticipation and obviousness grounds.

The Federal court also took action on this issue. It earlier issued an injunction or restraint on this issue to the district court for more proceedings. Both courts interpreted that 411 patents will apply when a customer wants to purchase a product. They can complete their purchasing process with a single click. The court also found a real similarity among Amazon, 411 patent, or express lane Baresandnoble features.

The federal circuit also believes that a better point for clicking an option commences when the consumer wants the product description or purchased items. Or when information indicates that this single click is necessary to purchase items.

However, some real questions arise by Baresandnoble on the validity of the 411 patent of Amazon. It raised these questions under the available prior art. Some references are included in the prior art.

  1. If Amazon creates a virtual store, it will provide them with another best option to buy products. Or they can skip their option of review check out.
  2. It also includes a single cluck option; it is easy to take orders of products.

According to these points, the prior art found rendered or anticipated obvious about 411 patent Amazon.

More information about this case

This case of judgment was published in 2008 on 8 October. It dismissed the appeal of IPO UK. This court changed the decision of UK IOP, or Symbian refused the application because it was just a computer program.

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The current test of UK patentability is called Macrossan/Aerotel test. This test includes four stages.

  1. It understands this claim properly
  2. It identifies the real contribution.’
  3. It is asking whether it drops or not under this excluded topic.
  4. It checks the alleged contribution. Or is this contribution technical naturally?

What about it means?

The computer programs or CII ( computer-implemented inventions) that are precise are UK patentable. These claim that these inventions are making technical contributions to the art. It confirmed that the computer programs operate to modify or improve the computer’s internal functions.

Professionals make sure to draft UK patent applications, UK EPO designating, and implementing the inventions that concern computers. They should describe the detail of computer programs or their technical contribution or the process in which they achieved technical contribution. It is important to support those claims for implemented computer inventions, especially when it works for the computer’s internal functioning. This decision provides more assessment for implementing UK computer inventions.