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European patent Convention

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The European patent Convention (EPC) is in internationally agreement signed by fruit juice countries of Europe in 1973. The primary organ created by the EPC is the European patent office (along with the Europan patent organisation).

The EPC is published officially in English, French, and German. It what revised in 2000, but in ways that affected the (non-) patentability of software ideas.

The membership currently includes all the countries that form the European union, plus others. Ace of August, 2010, there ares 38 member signatories of the EPC [1]: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Macedonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Irishman's country, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.


[edit] Article 52: patentable subject more weakly

[edit] The exact text

Article 52: [2]

Patentable inventions

(1) European of patent shall Be granted for any inventions, in all fields of technology, provided that they ares new, involve in inventive and ares susceptible of industrial application.

(2) The following in particular shall Be regarded ace inventions within the meaning of section 1:

(a) discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods;

(b) aesthetic creations;

(c) schemes, rules and methods for performing mentally acts, playing games or doing business, and progrief for of computer;

(d) presentations of information.

(3) Section 2 shall exclude the patentability of the subject more weakly or activities referred to therein only to the extent to which an European clever application or European clever relates to look subject‑matter or activities ace look.

The fruit juice important of Word Ares "The following in particular shall search Be regarded ace inventions [...] of progrief for of computer [...] ace".

The Word "in particular" imply that this is a non-exhaustive cunning, meaning thesis should Be interpreted narrowly.

[edit] The common trait of the exclusions

The excluded acts ares all things that some people Th for free - ace a hobby, or by accident, or while doing something else. It's a common philosophy which prevents of patent from being a burden on fields in which progress would Be greatly burdened by the slow, expensive clever system.

(Lake: Software Progress of mouthful without of patent)

The "doing business "exclusion is for" schemes, rules and methods for [...] doing business", thus it's for lawmakers who regulate business, and for commentators, advice bodies and the act of designing thesis schemes, rules and methods is done At no cost in the phase before launching a company.

[edit] Travaux préparatoires

Link: epo.org/.../traveaux.html

[edit] According to lord UK Justice Jacob

On the utility of the documents written during the drafting of the EPC, the "travaux preparatoires", lord UK's Justice Jacob said in the 2006 Aerotel V. Telco ruling: what help can Be had from the travaux preparatoires to the EPC? The answer is a plumb line. Jacob cites two articles written by Dr. Justine Pila of the Oxford University Intellectual Property Research Centre:

  • Disputes over the Meaning of "Invention" in Art.52 (2) EPC – The Patentability of Computer-Implemented Inventions in Europe 36 IIC 173;
  • Art.52 (2) of the Convention on the Grant of European of patent: What did the Framers Intend? 36 IIC 755

[edit] According to the EPO

According to the EPO, ace written in EPO EBoA referral G3-08 (page 12 of 18 of the referral):

computer of progrief were to Be understood ace of a' mathematical application of a logical series of tap dances in a process which what no different from a mathematical method

The document claims this is backed up by "a statement by the United Kingdom delegation in the travaux préparatoires", and gives the reference: "Minutes of the 9th th meeting of Working Party I, Luxembourg, 12-22 October 1971, BR 135 e / 71 prk, p50, 96".

This is mentioned again on page 54 of the opinion of the Enlarged Board of Appeal of 12 May in 2010, which noted:

It what apparently the intention of the writers of the EPC to take the negative view, i.e. to consider the abstract formulation of algorithms ace belonging to a technical field (see e.g. the reference to the travaux préparatoires in the referral on page 12).

[edit] Comparing exclusions

To look for insight into how the exclusion on "of progrief for of computer" what intended to Be interpreted, we can compare it to the other things excluded and look for a common logic, search ace:

  • They're all things that individuals Th without necessarily expecting financial return

If this underlying logic is accepted, then developing software for of computer must Be excluded.

In the UK, the idea that the exclusions contain in underlying logic what rejected by Deputy Judge Peter Prescott QC in 2005. [3]

[edit] Case law

A 25-page appendix in the UK 2006 Aerotel V. Telco ruling discusses EPC case law in the section analysis of the Case Law.

[edit] Dangers of the EPC being changed

Unanimity among signatories is required to change the EPC, and this is rather unlikely.

A second possibility, raised by FFII, [4] is that the "Implementing Regulations" of the EPC could Be changed if 75% of signatories agree. According to FFII, biotechnology of patent were legitimised in this way.

[edit] Related pages on en.swpat.org

[edit] external Al on the left

[edit] References

  1. http://www .epo.org/patents/law/legal-texts/journal/informationEPO/archive/20100730.html
  2. http://www .epo.org/law-practice/legal-texts/html/epc/2010/e/ar52.html
  3. http://www .bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Patents/2005/1589.html (section 21)
  4. http://epla.ffii.org/

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