Managing IP is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 8 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 00954730
Copyright © Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies 2023

Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

EPO Enlarged Board: computer simulations can be patented


Case G1/19, before the Enlarged Board of Appeal, attracted a flurry of interest from patent owners and industry associations

The EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeal has handed down an eagerly awaited decision that the established case law on computer-implemented inventions also applies to simulations.

In a decision published today, March 10, the EBoA found that just like any other computer-implemented invention, numerical simulations may be patentable.

According to the EBoA, patentability requires an inventive step based on features contributing to the technical character of the claimed simulation method.

In advance of today’s decision, in-house counsel told Managing IP that a decision to make simulation non-patentable could have had broader repercussions on patenting computer-implemented inventions.

It would have also damaged European industries that either create simulations or increasingly rely on software to test physical processes and methods before they are implemented, counsel added.

The case concerns a patent application (03793825.5) by an individual called James Douglas Connor.

The invention concerns simulation of pedestrian movement that can then be used to help design or modify venues such as a railway station or a stadium. The patent claims to provide a realistic simulation, in real-world situations, which cannot be modelled by conventional simulators.

In February 2019, the EPO rejected the application. After the refusal, the applicant appealed to the EPO’s Technical Board of Appeal, which referred questions to the EBoA.

More than 20 amicus curiae were filed with the EBoA from companies including IBM, Siemens and Philips, as well as from industry associations including AIPPI, the IP Federation and the European Patent Institute.

Managing IP will provide a full analysis of the decision in due course.


more from across site and ros bottom lb

More from across our site

Counsel are eying domestic industry, concurrent PTAB proceedings and heightened scrutiny of cases before institution
Jack Daniel’s has a good chance of winning its dispute over dog toys, but SCOTUS will still want to protect free speech, predict sources
AI users and lawyers discuss why the rulebook for registering AI-generated content may create problems and needs further work
We provide a rundown of Managing IP’s news and analysis coverage from the week, and review what’s been happening elsewhere in IP
A technical effect must still be evident in the original patent filing, the EBoA said in its G2/21 decision today, March 23
Brands should not be deterred from pursuing lookalike producers, and an unfair advantage claim could be the key, say Emma Teichmann and Geoff Steward at Stobbs
Justice Mellor’s highly anticipated ruling surprised SEP owners and reassured implementers that the UK may not be so hostile after all
The England and Wales High Court's judgment comes ahead of a separate hearing concerning one of the patents-in-suit at the EPO
While the rules allow foreign firms to open local offices and offer IP services, a ban on litigation and practising Indian law could mean little will change
A New York federal court heard oral arguments this week in a copyright case pitting publishing giants against a digital library