All About European Software Patents

Programming, modelling, and new programming languages are hardly patentable

As in the previous decision, also this decision is rather bad news for software developers who intend to protect their creations with software patents. Some key takeaway messages: Neither modelling nor programming is, by itself, a technical undertaking Modifications to a programming language that enable the programmer to develop a program with greater ease, speed… Read More


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Software Patents Worldwide - Germany 2017

Software Patents Worldwide – Germany chapter hot off the press

As every year, I’ve used the Christmas holidays to update my contribution to Software Patents Worldwide. It’s a comprehensive loose-leaf collection published by Kluwer Law International and provides expert insights and how-to guidance on drafting software patent claims in the world’s key markets. I’ve been co-authoring the chapter on software patents in Germany for four years now. The… Read More


European software patents master list

Whether a particular feature of a software invention is technical (=patentable) or not (=not patentable) really hinges on the individual case. Here’s a list of EPO case law that has clarified this question for some software-related features.

Making software quicker is not patentable

This is an interesting decision for programmers, since the EPO Board of Appeal 3.5.06 had to decide whether the reduction of the execution time of a computer-implemented method is a technical effect and thus potentially patentable. The board’s answer in a nutshell: The improved speed of a computer program is not by itself a technical… Read More

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Why software patent eligibility is not an issue at the EPO—and what the USPTO could learn from that

Talking about software patent eligibility, allow me a quick rant about the flaws of the infamous “abstract idea” test: Honestly, I believe the Mayo/Alice two-step test causes much more harm than good: What kinds of ideas are too “abstract” for a patent? Doesn’t every invention start with an idea? Who can tell the difference between… Read More


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With I aim at providing useful tips and insights into the world of software patents in Europe and beyond. Needless to say that none of this here is legal advice, right? For thoughts, feedback and specific questions please get in touch with me directly at, on my firm’s website, or connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter.