"The thorny issue of software patents in the EU was again in the news last week. Regular readers will recall the ongoing row between the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) and the courts over the former's application of both UK and EU case law on the extent to which computer software can be patented. The most recent round a couple of weeks back saw the Court of Appeal find the UK IPO was wrong to deny a patent to Symbian's PC performance enhancing software. Now the European Patent Office (EPO) has sought clarification by way of a reference to the Enlarged Board of Appeal (which hears appeals against EPO decisions) seeking to clear up some of the finer points of the application of European patent law. Those clever kitties at the IP Kat reckon the referral should end some of the uncertainty over computer software at the EPO level and (indirectly) aid the UK IPO as well. Let's hope so."