European #softwarepatent roundup 03/16

von Bastian Best

For all readers interested software patent-related case law, here’s the March’16 roundup:

New EPO software patent case law Giving nicknames to business contacts: no technical contributionEP 1 770 625 A1Case T 2428/11 concerned an examination appeal against the rejection of European patent application No. EP 1 770 625 (“Communicating with business customers”). Claim 1 was essentially directed to a communication system with a communications nickname database associating each of a multiplicity of businesses with its communications nickname.

The idea was to use a single “nickname” for contacting a business via one of a plurality of communication means in that the nickname replaces e.g. the postal address, telephone number, fax number, mobile telephone number, or website address.

Here, the board even mentioned doubts as to the technicality of the claimed subject matter. In any case, the board concluded that none of the features of the claim makes a non-obvious technical contribution over the prior art. In doing so, the board followed the established COMVIK approach which is summarized nicely in the decision:

As set out in decision T 641/00 “Two identities/COMVIK” (OJ EPO 2003, 352), it is only technical features, i.e. those which contribute to the solution of a technical problem by providing a technical effect, that can support the presence of an inventive step. Non-technical features, i.e. those which do not make a technical contribution, may legitimately appear in the formulation of the objective technical problem.

Read the full decision here.

Gaming: Setting game parameters based on slide operations is non-technicalEP 1 671 685Case T 1385/12 concerned an examination appeal against the rejection of European patent application No ...Zum vollständigen Artikel

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