bastianbest.com

Software patents for emerging tech since 2008

It’s not about being right, it’s about getting the best result.

Hi, My Name Is Bastian Best ...

… I’m a European patent attorney specializing in software patents

After graduating in computer science at the Technical University Munich, I quickly realized my talent for explaining difficult technical stuff to the man on the street (and less for coming up with technical innovations myself). So it was only logical to become a patent attorney. 

Today, ten years later I work as a partner in one of the most renowned IP firms in Europe.

Legal 500 IP Forum "Creating profitable IP strategies", 2018

Besides practicing patent law and representing cutting-edge software and ICT pioneers, I enjoy speaking about all things patents and emerging technologies at IP conferences around the world. Lately, my special interest is in artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, cryptography, the Internet of Things, the patentability issues involved in these technologies, and how they will change the legal industry. If you see me, just say hi and let’s chat over coffee.

You can find my full bio on my firm’s website and on LinkedIn.

Patents And Emerging Tech

Bastian Best
Serious IP talk at the IP Executive Week 2018. Need to work on my posture though... (Photo © European Patent Office)

How To Get In Touch

If you need assistance with your software patents in Europe and want to hire me, the best way to reach me is by email.

If you want to loosely stay in touch, feel invited to connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Also, sometimes I feel like writing my thoughts into the interwebs which you can find in chronological order below. Sharing and comments appreciated!

 

Bastian Best's Scrapbook

If you could ask an EPO examiner one thing…

I

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

W

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

N

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?

A

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

D

“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...

Don’t try to convince the primary examiner at an EPO oral hearing, go for the other two members instead

D

When your patent application faces an oral hearing at the end of the examination procedure, there is a subtle difference between the EPO and the GPTO: GPTO: the hearing is handled by a single examiner (the same who also handled the written procedure) EPO: the hearing is handled by a panel of three examiners (the primary examiner in charge of the written procedure and two further examiners) So if...

Distributed software systems: make sure you get your patent claims right

D

In times of the IoT, cloud and XaaS, most software products are geographically distributed, oftentimes even across countries. Make sure your software patent claims reflect this. Don’t mix up functionality of different entities in the same claim. If you do, your claim might never be directly infringed because no single infringer realizes all claim elements, or realizes some of the claim...

If you’re from the US, don’t neglect means-plus-function claims

I

Did you know that means-plus-function patent claims provide the broadest scope in Europe, because they are interpreted as covering anything that can perform the function? This is quite useful in software patents where it often does not make sense to limit the inventive functionality to a specific hardware implementation. The US is a completely different story though: There, means-plus-function...

It’s the non-obvious technical contribution!

I

I was talking about the first hurdle to software patentability in my previous post (technical character) and how it can be easily overcome. When it comes to software patents in Europe, the real challenge is the second hurdle: the non-obvious technical contribution. When a patent claim includes a mix of technical and non-technical features, only the technical features enter into the examination of...

bastianbest.com Software patents for emerging tech since 2008