European #softwarepatent roundup

von Bastian Best

While the impact of Alice on US software patents is still heavily discussed, 2016 has so far not produced any revolutionary software-related decisions by the Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) or the German Federal Court of Justice (BGH). The German Federal Patent Court (BPatG), however, has been quite busy. Here’s a quick roundup:

Executive summary:

  • Cryptography: Improving the level of trust in a digital certificate – not inventive
  • Controlling task execution for multimedia source encoding – not inventive
  • Implementing virtual storage pools – not inventive
  • Mathematics: Validating atomic operations in multiprocessor systems – technical and inventive!
  • Data retrieval: Generating boolean queries for clustered documents – technical? (in any case not novel)
  • Mathematics: Prioritizing virtual machine execution based on counters – technical (but inventive?)
  • Image processing: Determining optimal candidate colors – not inventive
  • Image rendering: Parallel job execution – technical? (in any case obvious)
New EPO software patent case law Cryptography: Improving the level of trust in a digital certificate – not inventive Fig. 1 of EP 1 777 636 A1

Decision T 2558/12 concerned an examination appeal against the rejection of European patent application No. 06 019 603.7 (“A digital certificate that indicates a parameter of an associated cryptographic token”) for lack of inventive step. Claim 1 was directed to a method for determining by a challenger a level of trust to put in a digital certificate, the challenger allowing/disallowing a trusted action dependent from a predefined level of trust ...

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