Software patents for emerging tech since 2008

Bastian Best’s Scrapbook

Is blockchain a solution that’s looking for a problem?


Last week, I had a great time talking about blockchain for IP registers at the IP Executive Week. It’s an event organized by the EPO and EUIPO where management level staff of international IP offices met in Munich to learn about the technological and organizational challenges of the future. I was impressed to see that the EPO already uses artificial intelligence to a great extent throughout...

Blockchain for IP registers – the next big thing or just hype?


Everyone seems to be talking about blockchain and how it will disrupt virtually any industry in the near future. The IP community is no exception, some say. I will be speaking at the “IP Executive Week” in Munich next week, where management level staff from national and regional IP offices will meet to learn about the impact of cutting-edge technology such as AI and blockchain, as...

Always double check the publication date


I had it once before in my 10 years working as a patent attorney, and for the second time yesterday: The patent examiner cites a patent application as prior art that actually isn’t prior art. In yesterday’s case, the application had already been rejected by the examination division. We managed to reverse the rejection on appeal, and the board of appeal had remitted the case back to...

Displaying internet search results: mostly non-technical presentation of information


This examination appeal decision concerns one of the items on the list of things excluded from patentability that is often encountered when dealing with graphical user interface design: the presentation of information. As we will see, unless the displayed information relates to an internal state of a technical system, or the way of displaying it facilitates a continued human-machine interaction...

More fine-grain spam filtering is patent-eligible, says the EPO


This recent decision is a good reminder about how the European Patent Office treats “mixed” inventions, i.e. inventions including both technical and non-technical aspects: It is established jurisprudence of the Boards of Appeal that a non-technical feature of a claim is a feature relating to non-inventions within the meaning of Article 52(2) EPC and does not contribute to the solution...

Alice and software patents


Here’s a quick question to my US patent practitioner friends. Do I understand the current application of Alice/Mayo correctly in that it involves: a weighing of the patent-eligible and ineligible parts of the claim? a comparison with the prior art? At least for me, this court decision says so, doesn’t it? “Based on this characterization, the court found that “[t]he weight of the claim...

It’s the technical contribution!


Just in case you forgot about the examination standard for software patents at the EPO, the recent decision T 0551/11 sums it up pretty nicely: “The question of inventive step requires an assessment of whether the invention makes a technical contribution over the prior art. Features which do not make such a contribution cannot support the presence of an inventive step.” This is a pretty...

The hardships of attorney marketing


Just like every year in springtime, I revamped my professional profile on my firm‘s website (and you should probably do so, too!).
The hardest part for me was formulating a clever quote/motto. Well, this is what I came up with:
„It‘s not about being right, but about getting the best result.“
What are your thoughts? Tell me your first association in the comments below!

Patent infringement in the cloud


Can your company be liable for patent infringement for using an external cloud provider? My partner Peter K. Hess and I spent some thoughts on this in an article on (in German). In a nutshell: Outsourcing parts of your business to an external cloud service does not immunize your company from patent infringement liability. Most cloud providers offer measures to shield their...

Pick up the phone and call the patent examiner!


It was great discussing with an EPO examiner live on stage at yesterday’s BARDEHLE IP Academy. The topic was “patent prosecution best practises from the point of view of a patent attorney and patent examiner”. One of my key takeaways: We are all human (yes, both patent attorneys and examiners) and everybody basically just wants to make a good job. Pick up the phone more often and talk... Software patents for emerging tech since 2008