|Hope for Software and Business Method Patents in China|
Joe Seisdedos, Senior Associate, Patent Attorney
Yesterday we attended a very interesting presentation at the University of Technology, Sydney, by Yu Xiang, who is a patent attorney and a professor at Huazhong University of Science and Technology. He is also a director of the Chinese-German Institute for Intellectual Property. His presentation challenged some of the commonly held notions that many software companies (and indeed many patent attorneys) hold about the patentability of software and business methods in China. While software per se and “mental schemes and business plans” are not patentable in China, the law does in fact allow some types of software and business processes to be patented. Professor Xiang explained that where software or business methods result in some type of technical advantage or solution, they may be patentable, so long as the claims and description are crafted in the right manner. This information gives a ray of hope to many patent applicants who want to seek protection for software and/or business method inventions in China.