Software patents for emerging tech since 2008

CategorySoftware Patents

First-hand insights into software patents in Europe and beyond

Patenting artificial intelligence


The other day, my colleague Patrick and I were attending a conference on artificial intelligence and the opportunities and challenges for the patent system at the German Patent and Trademark Office. We decided to document this in kind of a vlog-style video and share some thoughts on the patentability of AI innovations: If you like this video, please do me a favor and share it on Youtube and...

Patenting blockchain: thoughts on claim drafting for blockchain inventions


We are about to step up our social media game in the firm, so here’s me sharing some thoughts on patenting blockchain in our first ever #LinkedInVideo:

Depending on how this resonates on LinkedIn we’re planning to do more of these short “explainer” videos.
Do you enjoy videos like these? If so, please do me a favor and share it on LinkedIn!

Blockchain for IP registers [presentation slides]


I was talking about possible blockchain applications for IP registers at the IP Executive Week recently (see here and here). 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. For the interested, here are my presentation slides: I tried to make this more...

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...

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...

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... Software patents for emerging tech since 2008