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Software Patent of the Month – September

Tank you very much for taking part in the election of the "software patent of September". We counted almost 2.300 online-votes. More than 30 percent of all the votes were obtained by the software patent EP1044400 of the Philips-group, which was granted in spring 2006 by the European Patent Office (EPO). EP1044400 claims monopoly protection for device drivers that are specified for various situations of utilisation. It is the second patent of Philips being elected "software patentof the month" (the first was the patent on the context menu). This is no coincidence as Philips is at the top of the European software patent-statistics, together with IBM und Siemens.

After having presented in August five software patents that had received prizes and were thus considered to be "especially useful", chance played again the major part in September. We had a look at the patent numbers of the software patents granted on April 26 and May 3, 2006, and chose the most conspicuous multi-digit numbers among them.

The result of the voting in September:
Patent Votes Percentage
EP0990999 Evaluation of product defects 333 14.65%
EP1006502 Navigation system loads maps if required 593 26.09%
EP0782728 Offering web access codes by means of 900 numbers 352 15.49%
EP1044400 Download of device drivers from the internet 701 30.84%
EP1235135 Verification of digital signatures per groups 294 12.93%

Total votes: 2273

It is no surprise that three of the five selected patents belong to Japanese or American companies, because this is the case with about 70 percent of the European software patents.

As it applies to all the monthly "winners" from Mach to September 2006 , the patent of Philips is also nominated for the election of the "software patent of 2006" starting on 5 October 2006: Please vote for one of seven nominees.

Reminders for following votings can be ordered here.