Related pages on en.swpat.org
The following quote was taken from the patent law page, given in the link below.
" 13. The following shall not be considered inventions for the purposes of this Law:
(a) discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods;
plants and animals, with the exception of microorganisms and essentially biological processes for the production of plants or animals, except for non-biological or microbiological processes;
schemes, plans, rules for playing games, business, accounting, financial, educational, publicity, lottery or taxation principles or methods;
literary or artistic works, or any other aesthetic creation, as well as scientific works;
computer programs considered in isolation;
various methods of reproducing information;
biological or genetic material existing in nature.
14. The following shall not be patentable: (a) diagnostic, therapeutic or surgical methods for the treatment of persons or animals;
inventions contrary to public order, morality, public health, the population’s food supply, safety or the environment.
This being said, segment "(e)" shows that computer software, in isolation, is not a patentable item. My interpretation of this is, software patents are illegal in Uruguay, unless they are a part of a patentable ensemble. Unfortunately, as we have learnt from the Brazilian patent law issues: Even the narrow glimpse that a machine may be patented with some specific software can be misconstrued into any and all patents of software being accepted. The rationale behind this may be that the computer is itself a machine and therefore patents on computation methods of computer hardware justify the patenting of software. You can verify this example, using this link http://infojustice.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Brazilian_Patent_Reform.pdf. If you are unaware, software is unpatentable if it is "per se", laughably, in Brazil. Whatever "per se" was originally intended to mean the world may never know.
We can learn two things, easily, from the above quote: software patents as computer programs alone, without specific accompanying machinery, is not suppose to be patentable in Uruguay and also genetically modified micro-organisms and
artificial livestock/plant breeding methods are patentable.
This would be a perfect constitution if software was entirely not patentable and that no organisms or biological methods were patentable. The issue is that such wording as, "in isolation", leaves the door open for software patents,
such as for robot arms that build cars. However, it should be obvious what the software would do with such a device, therefore only the machine need be patented. Also, this may leave the possibility of abstract methods, ideas in computer hardware development open for software and general concept patenting.
- FSFLA's list of software related laws in Uruguay
- (in Spanish) Ley 17.164 Ley de Patentes de invención, modelos de utilidad y diseños industriales
- A copy of Uruguay's patent laws
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