The European Patent Office has determined computer-implemented simulations are patentable but the applicant must show that the invention addresses a technical issue.
In a decision that has been eagerly awaited by the IP world, Myles Jelf comments in World Intellectual Property Review, expressing that “Questions had been sent up to the EPO’s highest level because of potentially inconsistent appeal decisions on the question of whether a computerised simulation of a real-world activity could benefit from patent protection”. He went on to say “It is well established that computer programmes themselves cannot be patented unless they are part of a technical process achieving some technical benefit beyond the lines of code themselves.”
With this in mind, how should a computer simulation of a real world process be treated according to that approach? “The modelling itself could be said to be a highly technical process, but conversely, the process being modelled is not itself technical or novel, so how can simulating that be a new technical invention?”
To read the full article, see the WIPR website.