Reddie & Grose LLP recently participated in London Climate Action Week, delivering a presentation entitled “Innovations for a Sustainable Lifestyle”. Rather than focussing on large-scale global or societal technological fixes, we very much wanted to highlight the changes that individuals could make in their own lives to be better ancestors to future generations. The presentation focussed on innovation in four areas of our everyday lives – food, fashion, home and plastics – and discussed ways in which innovation can help us reduce our carbon footprint and impact on the planet.
Innovations in Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things are typically implemented in software and so can be challenging to patent at the European Patent Office. Firstly, patent protection for the invention must not be ruled out by the “software as such” exclusion of Article 52 EPC, and the invention must therefore solve a notional “technical problem”. Secondly, it must be possible to reduce an often complicated inventive concept to a single paragraph of text that can act as a patent claim. By way of illustration, this article looks at the patented smart home technology behind Nest Lab’s (“Nest”) learning thermostat, and explores how innovative start-ups can effectively protect their inventions.