Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Digital Technologies
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Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Digital Technologies

Edited by Tanya Aplin

This Handbook provides a scholarly and comprehensive account of the multiple converging challenges that digital technologies present for intellectual property (IP) rights, from the perspectives of international, EU and US law. Despite the fast-moving nature of digital technology, this Handbook provides profound reflections on the underlying normative legal dilemmas, identifying future problems and suggesting how digital IP issues should be dealt with in the future.
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Chapter 13: Software-related inventions

Matthew Fisher


This chapter examines the vacillating patentability standards that have characterised courts’ treatment of software-related inventions under patent law in Europe and the US. Despite starting from opposing legislative bases – one specifically excluding computer programs when claimed as such and the other containing no explicit prohibition – the jurisprudence on both sides of the Atlantic has progressed along very similar lines. This chapter charts the development of the law in these jurisdictions and considers whether such incertitude is an inevitable consequence of software’s duality as both text and machine.

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