Der BGH erhöht die Hürde für Softwarepatente in Deutschland (BGH Webseitenanzeige)

Dieser englischsprachige Artikel erschien erstmals im BARDEHLE PAGENBERG IP Report III/2011 und diskutiert den bis heute aktuellen Ansatz der deutschen Rechtsprechung bezüglich der Patentierbarkeit von Software (computer-implementierte Erfindungen bzw. “Softwarepatente”) – und wie sich der deutsche Ansatz von dem der Beschwerdekammern des Europäischen Patentamts unterscheidet.

According to the present decision “Webpage Display” of the German Federal Court of Justice (decision of February 24, 2011 – Case X ZR 121/09 – Webseitenanzeige), software-related inventions have to pass a two-step assessment with respect to exclusion from patent protection as a computer program “as such” (i.e. “software patent”). In this context, the German Federal Court of Justice for the first time positively identifies types of features needed for a software-related invention to overcome the “software patent” exclusion.

The case to be decided in “Webpage display” related to German patent DE 101 15 895 of Siemens AG (English readers may have a look at its US counterpart US 7,296,062) which claims a method for generating a displayable presentation for relocating an information page that has been called up by a user from a homepage and which has subsequently been exited. The patent to be assessed was essentially directed to the concept of logging and later displaying the sequence of visited (sub)pages of a complex website in order to facilitate the return of the user to a certain page of the website. Some people may call this a prime example of a “software patent”.

In first instance, the Federal Patent Court had argued that the claimed method was not an invention in a field of technology and was hence excluded from patent protection ...

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