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Computer Science

More Information on Patents


Patents relate to new and useful inventions and represent an implicit contract between the inventor and the state whereby the state confers a monopoly on the inventor, for a specifc time period, with respect to the manufacture and sale of the invention, in consideration of the inventor’s disclosure of the description of the invention.

Information on Canadian patent legislation can be found at Canadian Intellectual Property Office.  

A number of jursidictions are now allowing software and business methods to be patented. These include the United States  and Japan.  Information on Canadian patent legislation as it relates to technology which utilize the processing function of a computer is found in the Manual of Patent Office Practice Chapter 16.

Under the European Patent Convention and the patent laws of a number of countries members of the European Patent Organisation, computer programs and business methods as such are still expressly excluded from patent protection.

In practice, however, the approach has changed in recent years as the result of long-lasting intensive and controversial discussions and many decisions. The vast majority of applications are today considered not to claim abstract programs or business methods but to describe technical means like, for example, computer networks, for carrying out these programs or methods.

In order to be inventive, the programs or methods have to overcome a technical problem in a non-obvious way; in other words, it is not the commercial ingenuity which makes them patentable see the EPO (European Patent Office) web site.

The patent databases listed below will help you get started on searching for patents. Start with the US patent database and then move out from there.

The Library does not do "full patent searches". For that you need to consult with a patent lawyer or if you are a faculty member contact UTI.


Patent Sources