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Patent protection for software in Israel

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1 Author(s)
Assia, N. ; 54 Sokolov St., Ramat Hasharon, Israel

At first glance, US and Israeli law would appear to permit patent protection for all inventions that involve processes, including those involving software. Certainly, other technical processes or procedures, such as chemical or mechanical processes, have been eligible for patent protection in the US and Israel. US patent law states that whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, may obtain a patent therefor. Israeli patent law states that an invention, whether a product or process, which is new, useful, and useable in industry or agriculture and includes an inventive step is a patentable invention. However, in Israel and the US, software and software-related inventions have traditionally been viewed as ineligible for patent protection because of software's resemblance to human thought processes. This has been based primarily on the desire to avoid placing legal restrictions on truly mental processes, such as mathematics. Since the early 1980s, though, US courts and the US Patent and Trademark Office have taken a new approach by favoring patent protection for software-related inventions. The Israeli patent Registrar, however, seems to be wavering between the old and new approaches

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 11 )