Programme and abstracts

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Friday, 28 September 2018
8.00 hrs

Light breakfast, networking opportunity

Plenary sessions
9.00 hrs

Introduction and opening remarks
Stephen Jones, President CIPA
Christian Platzer, Director ICT, EPO

9.15 hrs

Recent developments at the EPO: quality initiatives, Early Certainty, searching Asian documentation
Christian Platzer, Director ICT, EPO

9.45 hrs

The EPO approach to computer-implemented inventions (CII)
Daniel Closa, senior expert, EPO

10.30 hrs

Patenting artificial intelligence (AI)
Gerry van Dooren, Director ICT, EPO

11.00 hrs

Coffee Break

The three workshops will each be held three times in order to give participants the opportunity to attend them all. Each workshop will be chaired by an EPO director and a European patent attorney with knowledge and experience of patenting in the field of lCT.
11.30 hrs

Workshops (round 1)

Workshop 1: Business methods
Christian Platzer, Director ICT, EPO
Paul Openshaw, European patent attorney (Openshaw & Co.)

Workshop 2: Examination of cloud computing at the EPO: claims for the cloud
Daniel Closa, senior expert, EPO
Caroline Day, European patent attorney (Haseltine Lake)

Workshop 3: HCI and GUI

Gerry van Dooren, Director ICT, EPO
David Robinson, European patent attorney (Marks & Clerk)

12.45 hrs

Buffet lunch

13.45 hrs

Workshops (round 2)

15.00 hrs

Coffee break

15.30 hrs

Workshops (round 3)

16.45 hrs

Closing remarks
Christian Platzer, Director ICT, EPO
Stephen Jones, President CIPA

17.00 hrs


Workshop abstracts

Workshop 1

Business methods

Patents in the field of business methods are not easy to get: it is the field with the lowest grant rate within the EPO. However, it is a widespread misconception, based on the wording of Article 52 EPC, that innovations in the field of business methods cannot be protected by patents in Europe.

This session will demonstrate that this is not in fact the case.

Starting from the established examination practice for applications having a mix of technical and non-technical features, the workshop will show how examiners analyse patent applications relating to business methods and what they look at when deciding on the allowability of a claim.

The examination methodology will be explained using examples of recent case law where the outcome was mostly negative, and in a claim drafting section we will provide recommendations on what to do to improve the likelihood of a positive outcome.

Workshop 2

Examination of cloud computing at the EPO: claims for the cloud 

Cloud computing (CC) is a major part of our present and future life, and actors in the CC field naturally have an interest in obtaining patent protection for inventions which include a CC component.

This workshop will explain how the EPO examines CC-related patent applications in the more general context of CII.

The focus will be on what to avoid and what to include when drafting claims in order to increase the chances of being granted a patent.

The second part of the workshop will deal with the apparent contradiction between the territorial rights conferred by a patent claim and the extraterritoriality inherent in CC.

National case law on infringement will be presented, together with its consequences for the way claims have to be written for CC.

Workshop 3


There is strong demand for patent protection for inventions relating to data visualisation and user interfaces in a wide variety of technical fields, including computer applications, smartphones, automotive user interfaces and measurement devices. But what kind of contribution over the prior art do these inventions need to make to be patentable, in particular given the EPO's approach to computer-implemented inventions? A key issue here is what aspects of the contribution qualify as "technical", as only these aspects can support the presence of inventive step.

The session on presentations of information will focus on the problem/solution approach used at the EPO, and more specifically the version as used for applications containing a mixture of technical and non-technical features. We will look at the amended Guidelines in G-II, 3.7 and G-II, 3.7.1 in context and discuss some Board of Appeal decisions dealing with the presentation of information and human-computer interaction.

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