"Nearly two years ago now, the UK’s most senior patent judge, Lord Justice Jacob, asked the EPO’s then-president Alain Pompidou a series of questions relating to the patentability of computer programs. There was, Jacob said, real uncertainty as to what the position was under the European Patent Convention and the situation needed clarifying. Pompidou rejected the request. […] Now, it seems, current EPO president Alison Brimelow agrees. In sending a list of detailed questions to the expanded Board of Appeal regarding the patentability of computer programs, Brimelow looks like she wants to ensure there is complete clarity on the subject, so that everyone, everywhere understands exactly how things stand and decisions handed down by courts can reflect that. This has to be a good thing. Last week Marshall Phelps observed that Europe thinks it does not grant software patents, but that actually it does. When the enlarged board answers the president’s questions, maybe we can all have the same certainty as Microsoft’s VP of IP Strategy and Policy."