Protecting software inventions in Europe

Veröffentlicht am: 28. April, 2016

IP-colleague John Leeming from J A Kemp, a London-based IP-Firm, wrote a very interesting article about obtaining a patent relying on software and the “technical” difficulties that come up when applying for such a patent. He states out that it is anything but easy to properly protect your software invention in Europe. We give you a little extract of what John wrote.


The protection of software inventions in Europe and the United States has often been described in terms of a pendulum swinging between a liberal position, in which almost anything can be protected, and a restrictive position, in which it is much harder to obtain patents for inventions relating to or using software.

While the United States has recently taken a decisive swing to the restrictive side, the position in Europe tends to be on a more liberal position. Perhaps there has been a small shift towards the liberal side very recently, but the European Patent Office’s (EPO) basic approach to the examination of inventions involving software and other non-technical features has not changed – namely, only technical features can contribute to inventive step.

However, an open question remains as to exactly what is meant by ‘technical’. The EPO Boards of Appeal have generally declined to define ‘technical’, perhaps wisely fearful of creating a hostage to fortune in an ever-changing technological landscape.

>> Read the full article at

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Source: Extract of John Leeming’s article at

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