A patent owned by Vision Critical that could have significantly impacted upon many software developers (both ISVs and their developer partners) will be revoked.  This is following Vision Critical’s agreement on 18th October to give up the patent and amendments to it and stop (mid-trial) the High Court case it had brought against Future Route, who was supported by BASDA – the only trade body doing so.

BASDA had serious concerns about the financial and technical exposure that this patent posed to the industry and managed to galvanise strong collaboration with its members, through its Special Interest Groups (inc. evidence of prior art) and, along with its patent attorney (providing expert advice and representation), BASDA opposed amendments to the patent and was able to support Future Route in achieving this outcome – a process that has been in play for over a year.

BASDA’s concerns over this patent’s broad coverage included the following extracts:

“a database driver associated with a data extraction to access and extract data directly from the database” and where “the data extraction module is arranged to bypass the management application and access and run the database driver independently of the management application”.

Kevin Hart, Chairman of BASDA, comments:
“Whilst BASDA supports the fundamental principle of patents, sometimes unmeritorious patents slip through the examination process, are granted and can then put the industry at significant financial (and technical) exposure along with the huge distraction to their businesses, as a result of such court actions. The outcome in this case is very welcome as it removes the risk of action against BASDA members within the UK, which could have resulted in costs alone of many hundreds of thousands of pounds per member.”

“Given that corresponding patents have been sought in other key territories, including Europe, we will continue our work to prevent similar exposure to our members and we are delighted to once again, highlight our success achieved through effective collaboration – one that would be too expensive or risky and lacking impact without BASDA as a representative body.”

UK Patent number GB 2 459 903