INFORMATION FROM THE CONTRACTING / EXTENSION STATES
Decision of the Octrooiraad, Aanvraagafdeling (Receiving Section of the Patent Office), dated 10 December 1990*
J. de Bruijn
L.M. van der Steen
Headword: Bar code
Article 1A, 3(1) Reichspatentgesetz (Patents Act of the Kingdom)
Keyword: "Patentability of a computer-aided data-processing method"
1. A method involving the use of a computer and which works in accordance with an algorithm, i.e. in accordance with rules based on purely mathematical theories, brings about a change in the external physical environment only if the method serves to process and subsequently unload the data entered into the computer. Consequently, methods for processing data stored on a carrier which work according to an algorithm to be defined or processing instructions, bring about a change in the external physical environment and can be patented even if they are carried out on a computer.
2. The method in question procures a practical result in that it identifies the registration number allocated to a product, determined by the bar code on that product. The method, which is used for stock control in businesses, at cashdesks in shops and department stores and for the distribution and transport of goods, is susceptible of industrial application.