Social impact - Road taken by EPO leading to privatization of ideas

  1. Computer programs are not patentable

    Europe Patent Convention, Munich, 5 October 1973

  2. Inventions containing a computer program are patentable

    Case of Schlumberger, Court of Appeal of Paris 15 June 1981: Whereas the process claimed comprises six successive stages, some of which indisputably involve the application of computer programmes, but the whole description of the patent is not reduced to information processing by computers.

  3. Machines containing an innovating computer program are patentable

    Generic robot containing a computer program that control the robot: stress on hardware part

  4. Algorithmic process processing information with a technical effect are patentable

    Case of Vicom T 208/84 Technical Board of Appeal 15 July 1986: Even if the idea underlying an invention may be considered to reside in a mathematical method a claim directed to a technical process in which the method is used does not seek protection for the mathematical method as such.

  5. The virtual machine theory

    Koch & Sterzel case T 0026/86 Technical Board of Appeal 21 May 1987:If the program controls the operation of a conventional general-purpose computer so as technically to alter its functioning, the unit consisting of program and computer combined may be a patentable invention.

  6. Computer programs that are not "as such" are patentable

    Case of International Business Machines Corporation T 0935/97 Technical Board of Appeal 4 february 1986:Programs for computer must be considerated as patentable invention when they have a technical character.

  7. Process of management by a computer

    EP756731: Interactive Information Selection Apparatus (for selecting the items for a meal)

  8. Mental methods ?