Intellectual property demystified, … or not?

Posted on October 27th, 2009

Indeed, this was the goal we set for the tenth edition of the GetTogether we held on September 22th in the historical site of Outfort in Hoboken. Stakes are high if you only have one evening to give an insight in such a complicated issue as patenting software.

Since decades, the patentability of software (or computer implemented inventions in patent language) has been somewhat of a struggle. Not only with the competing copyright protection for software and against the open source movement, but also a struggle within the patent system itself. Under which conditions are computer implemented inventions patentable in Europe and how does case law handle the issues?

It will become clear that Europe is currently in a state of chaos when it comes to patenting computer implemented inventions, which has now cumulated in a referral to the highest court of the European Patent Office with a view to clarify under which conditions this type of inventions could be patentable. The referral itself is also under attack, which illustrates the strong feelings which this subject is capable of generating.

Our guest speaker for the evening, Sven Bostyn (PhD., Legal Counsel @ De Clercq Brants & Partners, Associate Professor of Intellectual Property Law, Institute for Information Law – IViR, University of Amsterdam) being one of the leading authorities in the field of patent law and the author of numerous scientific publications, was indeed able to demystify the field of intellectual property. As a real stand up comedian he succeeded in a humoristic way to explain the odds of software patenting. He captured the attention of the audience and made them smile with bold statements regarding the patenting lawyers eco-system. The full presentations can be viewed here.

Probably due to the Indian Summer we were having at the end of September, only few people decided to join us for this recurring event. A shame, because the venue is really special: an ancient fort redecorated for business events. As always food and drinks where on us.

Those who where there can testify that once more the after party at the bar was at least as enjoyable as the official part of the evening. So you better be there next time!

Full presentation – 22 pages -275 kB