Caching security information of a smart card: technical but obvious

This examination appeal concerns a system for caching information retrieved from a hardware security token, i.e. a smart card or any other tamper-resistant hardware device used to store digital credentials, cryptographic keys or the like. Since it was not even questioned that this is technical subject-matter, the decision is quite straight-forward and “only” deals with inventive step. tl;dr:… 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:

Software patents in Europe: Inventive gambling

The EPO grants software patents on gambling methods – well, at least on their technical implementation. Although the actual rules of a game are excluded from patentability, a non-obvious technical implementation of such rules can indeed be patented in Europe, as the following decision shows. The patent application at stake concerned an interactive gambling application (e.g. for… Read More

Software patents in Europe: 7 principles for the patentability of software inventions

The decision T 0154/04 (Estimating sales activity/DUNS LICENSING ASSOCIATES) of November 15, 2006 is one of the landmark decisions when it comes to the patentability of software inventions at the European Patent Office. During oral proceedings the appellant submitted the following questions for referral to the Enlarged Board of Appeal: (1) What is the correct… Read More

Software patents in Europe: Non-technical features cannot support inventive step

The allowability of software patents in Europe regularly hinges on the requirement of an inventive step. This is because under the EPC, inventive step can only be established by those invention features which provide a technical difference over the prior art – while purely non-technical features are disregarded. Watch this 1-minute video for the core… Read More