(Bilski coverage will continue tomorrow)
The Israeli Patent Office (IPO) has launched a consultation on whether or not to allow software patents, with a February 2010 deadline. I’ve put the details at the end of this post, but first some background.
- The IPO consistently rejects software patents and business method patents. Examples:
- The 2005 rejection of the 142049 website patent
- The September 2006 rejection of the 131733 sales coupons patent
- Patent Attorney Ehud Hausman, with the support of international pro-swpat lobby group AIPPI, has been trying since 2007 to change this.
- He claimed in May 2008 to have partly convinced the IPO to grant software patents (but no change on business method patents). I’ve no third-party confirmation of this.
I’ve been documenting the situation on the en.swpat.org wiki, if you can help, please do:
If Hausman succeeds, this will be very profitable for his patent lawyer colleagues , but disastrous for software compatibility, for technical progress, for people who make websites, for people who write software and costly for all businesses that use computers.
- A presentation by the IPO about their history of rejecting software patents (May 2009?)
- A May 2008 document by Hausman – he’s unhappy about software developers being safe from patents, but this document does contain interesting facts
- Blog post about a recent roundtable discussion
From a blog post (no responsibility for accuracy accepted), the important details for submissions are:
they are limited to four sides with one-and-a-half line spacing, and probably should be in Hebrew … The deadline for filing responses is 15 February 2010. … the briefs should be sent to Lihi ZuAretz – LihiZ [at] justice.gov.il, or mailed to her at the Israel Patent Office.
There seems to be a lot of common sense in the IPO, so please:
- Help contact people in Israel who would be interested in raising awareness on this or even making a submission. ESP’s submissions on previous cases such as our Bilski supreme court brief could be used as a starting point, and there’s more info on http://en.swpat.org/wiki/Arguments.
- Help document the situation on http://en.swpat.org/wiki/Israel
- Use the comments section of this news item to discuss this topic for everyone’s benefit. If anyone has an official link to the consultation, please post that.