Computer-Implemented Inventions (CII) are a hot topic in the patent world. While some countries grant patents for all types of software, the patent practice in Europe is a different matter. Here, developers need to show that their invention actually makes a contribution in a technical field.
The President referred a series of questions to the Enlarged Board of Appeal concerning the exclusion from patentability of programs for computers under Article 52 of the European Patent Convention. These sought to clarify not only when a claim as a whole falls under the exclusion, but also the circumstances under which individual features relating to computer programs can contribute to the technical character of a claim in which case they are relevant for assessing novelty and inventive step.