In the 3rd quarter (July to September) of 2021, 4 positively decided cases were added to our knowledge base in which relevant aspects of the claimed-subject-matter were considered technical. For those who do not have the time to read all of our selected decision, in the following, we will briefly summarize these cases.
T 0200/19: Disambiguation of text with an upper and lower case
The application underlying this decision relates to a handheld device with a reduced QWERTY keyboard. Based on the user input, the device automatically detects whether it was the intention of the user to write a word with an upper case or lowercase letter.
At the end of the appeal stage, the Board in charge ruled that enhancing the efficiency of disambiguation of a user input provided via a reduced keyboard of a handheld device is technical.
T1790/17: Controlling the manufacture of a product
This decision relates to the area of business methods, and more particularly to product (re-)design. The Board in charge was of the opinion that redesigning a product based on user feedback is purely business-motivated and thus non-technical.
However, according to the Board in charge, controlling the manufacture of a product with improved process data is a patentable invention as it includes technical features.
This decision is an excellent example of how the first hurdle (patent eligibility) of the EPO’s two-hurdle (COMVIK) approach can be cleared.
T 2251/13: Projection surface with built-in track pad
This is one of the rare cases in which a business-related invention was considered technical (T 2251/13). In detail, the invention relates to an interactive food and/or drink ordering system that can be controlled by means of a track pad. The gist of the invention is to project a menu onto the restaurant table.
Specifically the usage of the above-mentioned track pad was considered to solve a technical problem with technical means.
T 1422/19: Determining visibility of content on web browser by indirect measurement
In the area of graphical user interfaces, one of the EPO’s Boards of Appeal ruled that estimating the size of a browser’s viewport from within a cross-domain iframe by indirect measurement is technical. According to the decision T 1422/19, this is because the claimed method measures “raw” information about a running web browser and processes this information to produce an estimate of a technically meaningful parameter.
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Patrick is a European patent attorney at BARDEHLE PAGENBERG. He specializes in software patents in Europe both from a prosecution and litigation point of view.