6 Jan

Eligibility of software and business methods in the United States, Europe and Asia

Software and business methods are a crucial component of the world’s innovation-driven economy. However, patent protection for these intellectual assets has proved controversial and remains subject to considerable variations between jurisdictions. This chapter examines the patentability of software and business method patents in the United States, Canada, the European Patent Office (EPO) and several Asian jurisdictions. Our findings are summarised in the table below and are discussed in more detail in the jurisdiction-specific sections that follow. Many of these jurisdictions exclude software and business methods as such from patent eligibility, but under certain circumstances discussed below, some patent protection remains available for these inventions.