9.18.4 Automation

In T 775/90 the board ruled that mere automation of functions previously performed by human operators was in line with the general trend in technology and thus could not be considered inventive (T 1175/02, T 438/06).

The mere idea of executing process steps automatically, e.g. replacing manual operation by automatic operation, was a normal aim of the skilled person (T 234/96).

In developing an automated process from a known manual process, apart from simply automating the individual steps of the manual process, the skilled person will also incorporate the facilities that automation typically offers for the monitoring, control and regulation of the individual process steps, provided they fall within the definition of technical skill (T 850/06).

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