That some ideas are "technical" or come from a "field of technology", is an idea mentioned in TRIPS and further detailed in Europe / the European Patent Office.
- See: TRIPS
Article 27 of the TRIPS agreement requires that patents be available "in all fields of technology". Thus, to exclude software from patentability, we have to argue that software is outside the legal definition of "fields of technology".
This is true because article 10 of TRIPS defines software as a literary work. Books are not a "technology", so neither is software.
USA judge commentary
Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
In the USA, the CAFC discussed the idea of using the term "technology" during the in re Bilski ruling:
The majority refuses to inject a technology requirement into the section 101 analysis because it believes that the terms “technological arts” and “technology” are “ambiguous.” See ante at 21.
As discussed more fully in section III, a claimed process is technological to the extent it applies laws of nature to new ends. See Benson, 409 U.S. at 67 (“‘If there is to be invention from . . . a discovery, it must come from the application of the law of nature to a new and useful end.’” (quoting Funk Bros., 333 U.S. at 130))
Full ruling: http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/opinions/07-1130.pdf
Use of the term was briefly discussed by the US Supreme Court at the November 9th hearing of Bilski v. Kappos (2009, USA).
See the transcript: http://news.swpat.org/2009/11/bilski-hearing-transcript/
Related pages on ESP Wiki
- Choosing words to use in legal proposals
- Terminology recommendations - for general communication