Two recent decisions of the European Patent Office’s Boards of Appeal illustrate a risk faced by patent applications for artificial intelligence inventions: if the application does not describe the AI in enough detail then it can be refused for insufficient disclosure and lack of inventive step. The two decisions are T161/18 from May 2020 and […]
Computers & Software
Patent law places a number of hurdles in the path of inventors seeking protection for computer-related inventions or inventions implemented in software.
In the UK and Europe, patent law excludes the grant of patents for computer programs that do not provide a technical effect. Other countries frequently apply similar restrictions.
Creative thinking is often required to write patent claims, which provide protection for what are often abstract developments in computer control or processing.
Computers & Software team
Our clients include: a major financial services company; a web technology developer for monitoring marketing campaigns; a leading manufacturer of computers and peripherals; and a developer of set-top box technology.
We have assisted an information management software organisation in the development of an international portfolio in six software friendly jurisdictions. We successfully represented the client at oral proceedings at the European Patent Office and overcame the examining division’s objections that the software was not technical.
We advise a multinational Japanese provider of IT services and products on the development of its European patent portfolio relating to computer networks and encryption systems.
We work closely with many software companies around the world helping them overcome these hurdles. Sometimes the constraints of the patent system require us to identify and seek protection for the core of a much a larger system. At other times, we may have to consider the interactions between an inventive system and the other entities at its periphery, and seek protection for those interactions. The choice of claim wording and the choice of jurisdiction can make all the difference to the outcome.
We are experts in this rapidly developing field, writing papers and giving seminars on the latest legal developments, and we seek advice from our extensive network of overseas contacts to obtain the latest understanding of the developments in patent law in other countries. We will advise clients of the most favorable jurisdictions suited to their needs and market, even if this is not their home jurisdiction.