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Computer-implemented inventions, cloud computing and the EPO Guidelines for Examination

EPO4IPcopy had the pleasure of attending the EPO ICT seminar at the end of September where recent developments at the EPO in relation to computer-implemented inventions (CII) were discussed. The seminar was held the week before the latest version of the EPO Guidelines for Examination (November 2018 edition) was published which meant we were teased a few times with what was about to be released.

We were however told that the 2018 update to the Guidelines contains some significant CII related changes*, in particular more examples that show what is regarded as technical and what is regarded as non-technical in areas such as business methods, computer programs, mathematical methods and data retrieval.

Interestingly, it was mentioned that the CII portions of the 2019 and 2020 versions of the Guidelines will probably only contain minor clarification amendments rather than the more significant changes that have been seen in the last few years. The CII Guidelines Working Group has had an ongoing project running since 2014 and the first batch of CII changes came out in the 2015 Guidelines (Problem-solution approach for mixed inventions/search for computer-implemented inventions), the second batch in 2016 (Claim forms for CIIs, examples for PSA for mixed inventions) and the third batch in 2017 (Presentation of invention and UIs). The 2018 Guidelines represent the fourth batch of changes and it was noted that we will likely only see clarification amendments for the next couple of years.

Now that the November 2018 Guidelines have been published IPcopy has taken a look at the CII sections and highlights the following changes : (more…)