A few weeks ago, the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) issued a decision on the extent to which computer-implemented simulations are patentable in Europe (previously reported here). The confirmation that computer-implemented simulations should be considered in the same way as any other computer-implemented process could be significant for the industry that filed more European patents than any other in 2020: Medical Technology.
Insights: Patentability of computer simulations
Inventions that fall into certain categories of excluded subject-matter, including programmes for computers, mathematical methods and mental acts, are not patentable in Europe. The EPO’s established ‘COMVIK’ approach assesses inventive step for claims that include a mixture of features that do and do not fall into categories of excluded subject-matter. If a claim feature relates to excluded subject-matter and does not contribute to a technical solution to a technical problem then it is ignored for the assessment of inventive step