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

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


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


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


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 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...

Technical character, technical contribution… don’t get confused by the EPO lingo


I’m happy to see that my recent LinkedIn post on whether software is patent-eligible at the EPO got 1,200 views in two days! So let’s take a closer look at how the EPO deals with software patent inventions: The European Patent Convention (EPC) sets two hurdles on the way to a European patent: An absolute hurdle stating that the invention has to be an “invention” in the sense of Art...

Are your patents ready for the 3D printing revolution?


3D printing is one of the hottest topics in tech right now and will probably revolutionize the manufacturing sector as we know it today. But what if your patents only include claims for the end product and the classic manufacturing method? Someone offering a template file for 3D-printing the product will probably not infringe these claims. Have you ever considered something like: “A...

Why I’m writing a book about startup patent strategy


I’m a European patent attorney. And I was frustrated. Over the years, countless entrepreneurs came to me with a feeling that they need some form of protection for their innovation – be it their disruptive business model or their cool new technology, product or service concept. Many got in contact with me after a potential investor had asked them some tough questions about their intellectual...

Why every entrepreneur needs an innovation plan


Startup companies differ from traditional businesses in two characteristics: They aim at developing a viable business model around an innovative product or service, oftentimes to disrupt traditional markets. They seek rapid growth, sometimes with the aim of selling the company after a few years. In the early stages, a startup typically does not own significant “real” business assets, such as...

How to get your software patent allowed in Europe


*** This post is regularly updated. Last update: 5 September 2018 *** Does the European Patent Office grant software patent applications? The short answer is: Yes, but it depends on what the software actually does. On the other hand, “is software patentable?” is really the wrong question. Patents are granted for inventions, and it should only be a secondary question how the invention...

Was Investoren hören wollen: Lean Startups brauchen eine leane Patentstrategie


Ich bin Patentanwalt. Und ich war frustriert. Viele Unternehmer in der Gründungsphase ihrer Startups konnten meine Beratung nicht umsetzen, weil das Budget die hohen Patentkosten nicht hergab. Als die Investoren dann vor dem Abschluss der Seed- bzw. Series-A-Runde eine Patentstrategie verlangten, kamen viele der Gründer wieder zu mir. Aber es war zu spät für Patentschutz. Das Dilemma: Patente... Software patents for emerging tech since 2008