Date of Award
Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)
Computer software is considered similar to an algorithm, a mental activity, or an abstract idea, so whether or not it meets patent eligibility is full of controversy. Although computer software products are sold all over the world, each jurisdiction deals with them differently based on individual regulations. If there were an objective and proper way to deal with this subject matter, it would reduce the number of debates and narrow the gap of patent protection among different jurisdictions.
The meaning of "invention" in patent law in each jurisdiction is the most important factor affecting the determination of patent eligibility, which contains some common characteristics of statutory subject matters. Additionally, the explanation of the "invention" in the examination guidelines for computer software inventions promulgated by each patent office also reflects different official attitudes toward this issue. Some external factors will also affect the determination of this issue, such as the development of local industry, the demand for global trade, obligations as a member of international organizations, and so on.
The determination of patent eligibility of software inventions involves subjective and objective considerations; however, some merits of tests or requirements for software patents can be employed as assistant factors in the issue. Since these types of constraints may limit the scope of rights of each invention, patent offices do not have to exclude them from statutory subject matters due to the reason that they may preempt a very wide range of rights.
Kuo, Hung-San, "A Comparative Perspective on the Patent Eligibility of Software Inventions" (2011). Maurer Theses and Dissertations. 84.