Monday, 16 May 2011

Symmetry celebrates rejection of patent that may have cost your business money

Symmetry, a financial management systems provider has welcomed a decision by the European Patent Office to reject a patent proposed by e-invoicing company OB10, that threatened to impose additional licensing charges for the routing of electronic documents. Symmetry joined other members of BASDA (Business Application Software Developers Association) to fight against the introduction of the patent which has now been turned down.

Sales & Operations Director at Symmetry, Julian Sayer commented, “If the patent had been upheld this would have had serious implications for users of electronic based processes like e-invoicing, because of the additional costs incurred.

"As a company that believes strongly in ‘open’ technology and easy access to non-proprietary software applications, we were keen to support BASDA’s challenge to the patent and are delighted with the result. This means organisations can take full advantage of the benefits e-invoicing offers, without being penalised unfairly.”

The BASDA group wasn't alone in objecting to OB10’s ‘Communications Routing Apparatus’ patent; the European Patent Office received 19 notices of opposition in total. Many of these were from large, pan-European companies. If the patent had gone unchallenged, OB10 could have levied licensing charges on, or even stopped, many UK and other companies using similar technologies.

By being willing to pool their experience and knowledge of the UK business software industry prior to 2000, BASDA members were able to make available evidence of systems and methodologies in operation prior to the patent’s claimed 'novel' introduction. BASDA's opposition was filed on the grounds that the ‘invention’ claimed in the patent was neither new nor inventive over what was previously publicly known.

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