Patentable Subject Matter: The View from Europe

Avi Freeman


This article presents a review of the position regarding the availability of patent protection for computer-implemented inventions (software in particular) in Europe. The specifics of the European Patent Office approach to this, i.e. providing a low threshold for exclusion on grounds of non-patentable subject matter, but not allowing non-technical features to contribute to inventive step, is contrasted with that in the UK where the EPO-derived “contribution approach” still holds. Some comparisons are made with the position in the US, post Bilski.

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