Software patents for emerging tech since 2008

Bastian Best’s Scrapbook

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...

If you could ask an EPO examiner one thing…


I’m just preparing my slides for Wednesday’s lecture at my firm‘s IP Academy (it’s a regular lecture series covering all aspects of intellectual property). I will be talking with an EPO examiner about patent prosecution best practices. I will try to tease out as many behind-the-scenes insights as possible from the EPO examiner. Do you have any pressing questions I should...

What startup entrepreneurs need to know about patents


Today, I was giving a lecture on “What startup entrepreneurs need to know about patents” as part of the study program „Technology Management“ at the CDTM in Munich. Thanks Gesa and Philipp for inviting Sebastian and me again! This was the third time I did this intro to patent law at the CDTM and it is always great fun, as the students had great questions and (hopefully) some new...

No software patents for programming language constructs


Software patent news from the EPO: Programming language constructs cannot be patented – not the commands, not their syntax and not their operational semantics, according to this recent examination appeal decision. The patent application related to MATLAB‘s SPMD command. In case you don’t know, according to Wikipedia SPMD (single program, multiple data) is a technique employed to...

Are European blockchain innovators falling behind in the next IP arms race?


There is nothing more relaxing on a Sunday afternoon than browsing the EPO case law database. To my surprise though, there are no (as in absolutely 0) hits for “blockchain”, i.e. it is not mentioned in any board of appeal decision. Ok, blockchain is a relatively young technology (at least from a patent law perspective) and appeal cases take a couple of years. So I did some more research: Google...

Don’t rely only on the description for claim amendments


“Unsearched subject-matter” objections seem to be trending at the EPO these days. This means that a claim amendment taken from the description is not admitted by the examiner because the amended feature was not covered by the search for prior art. However, the EPO rules say that the search has to be done based on the claims, but with a view to the description and has to also cover features in the... Software patents for emerging tech since 2008