Computer Program Claim not Excluded from Patentability under the EPC

In decision T 979/06 of 21 September 2010, Technical Board of Appeal 3.5.04 of the EPO had to decide on sufficient disclosure (Art. 123 EPC), clarity (Art. 84 EPC) and inventive step (Art. 56 EPC) of an invention relating to reducing luminance flicker in a video image sequence by means of a computer-implemented method. Claims 1 and 11 of the main request read:
1. A method of reducing luminance flicker in a video image sequence comprising a plurality of video images produced by a camera, comprising: digitally filtering on a per pixel basis, using a finite impulse response filter of maximum length N+1, temporally successive video images of the video image sequence; said digitally filtering comprising: adjusting a filter length, measured in terms of a number of pixel values, corresponding to a current image pixel value of the finite impulse response filter to increase the filter length if an absolute difference between the current image pixel value and a correspondingly spatially disposed previous pixel value of respective current and previous temporally spaced successive images of the video image sequence is less than a threshold value up to the maximum filter length of N+1, and otherwise setting the filter length to one, measured in terms of a number of pixel values. 11. A computer program comprising computer program code means adapted to perform all the steps of claims 1 to 4 when the program is run on a computer.
Oral proceedings were held on 5 March 2009 in the absence of the appellant. At the end of the oral proceedings, the chairman announced that the proceedings would be continued in writing ...Zum vollständigen Artikel

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