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 #softwarepatent roundup 03/16

For all readers interested in software patent-related case law, here’s the March’16 roundup: New EPO software patent case law Giving nicknames to business contacts: no technical contribution Case T 2428/11 concerned an examination appeal against the rejection of European patent application No. EP 1 770 625 (“Communicating with business customers”). Claim 1 was essentially directed to a communication system with a… Read More

German #softwarepatent 101: prosecution and enforcement in a nutshell

This post summarizes the prosecution process of German patent applications and the enforcement of German patents. The explanations mostly apply to software-related patents as well as to any other German patent regardless of its technical field.

European #softwarepatent roundup

While the impact of Alice on US software patents is still heavily discussed, 2016 has so far not produced any revolutionary software-related decisions by the Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) or the German Federal Court of Justice (BGH). The German Federal Patent Court (BPatG), however, has been quite busy. Here’s a quick roundup:

German software patent 101: What is a “utility model”?

In addition to patents, there is a utility model in Germany, which is codified in the Utility Model Act (“Gebrauchsmustergesetz”, GebrMG). In contrast to patents, which are substantively examined before grant, German utility models are registered after an examination for formal criteria only. Since a utility model is not substantially examined prior to registration, its… Read More

Software patents in Germany: Should you file with the EPO or the German Patent Office?

Today, patent protection in Germany can be obtained either nationally by filing a national German patent application with the German Patent and Trademark Office (GPTO); or by validating a European patent granted by the EPO and designating Germany. Whereas a national German patent application will be examined for the patentability criteria by the examiners of the… Read More

Fig. 2 of DE 101 15 895 C1

Software patents in Germany: Challenging times for software inventions – Webpage display

The Federal Court of Justice (FCJ)’s decision Webpage Display is currently the latest landmark decision dealing with the general methodology behind the patentability of software-related inventions. It establishes the German three-step examination approach and thereby systematically deviates from the two-step approach established at the Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO). At the same time,… Read More

Fig. 2a of EP 0 378 271 B1

Only technical features can form an “invention” in Germany

With the decision Display of Topographic Information the Federal Court of Justice (FCJ) continued its examination methodology for software-related inventions laid out in the Dynamical Generation of Documents decision. In addition, the FCJ held that inventive step (the third hurdle of the German three-step approach) can only be based on the technical features of a… Read More

Fig. 1 of DE 102 32 674 A1

Only the technical solution of a technical problem is patent-eligible in Germany

The decision Dynamical Generation of Documents of 22 April 2010  is one of the most important landmark decisions with regard to the patentability of software in Germany, since it establishes the German “three-step approach” for assessing the patentability of software patents, as it is valid today. The case at stake The case to be decided… Read More