Posts Tagged: "computer software"

History of Software Patents II: Arrhythmia Research

In the Arrhythmia case the invention in question was directed to the analysis of electrocardiographic signals in order to determine certain characteristics of heart function. In essence, the invention was a monitoring device. It had been discovered that 15% to 25% of heart attack victims are at high risk for ventricular tachycardia, which can be treated by the administration of drugs. Unfortunately, the drugs used have undesirable and dangerous side effects, which led the inventor to come up with a monitoring device capable of determining which heart attack victims were at the highest risk for ventricular tachycardia.

Groklaw Response: Computer Software is Not Math

It is impossible to argue that software code does not employ mathematical influences, because it does. Having said this, the fact that mathematical techniques are employed does not as a matter of fact mean that software is mathematical. Under the US patent laws you cannot receive a patent that covers a mathematical equation or a law of nature. You can certainly use mathematical equations and laws of nature as the building blocks to create something that is new and nonobvious that is patentable. So even if software used mathematical equations there would be no prohibition against the patenting of software under a true and correct reading of the US patent laws.

Defining Computer Related Inventions

The code itself and how it is written is protected via copyright, if at all, not through a patent. So when you are trying to define the invention so that it can be described adequately in a patent application you do not need to detail every language that could be used, and you do not need to provide an outline of the routines or subroutines, but what you do need to provide is enough information so that the computer programmer could translate your description into code, so you want to provide enough to allow the computer programmer to create the outline themselves, understanding that the actual approach employed by the computer programmer will be as unique as they are.