3rd jan, 2010

New EPO Board of Appeal Decision on non-patentable subject-matter

In the last batch of decisions from the EPO Board of Appeal from 2009 there is an interesting decision regarding non patentable subject-matter (T 0509/07 – 3.5.04). The decision takes on the subjects of non-technical problems and problem-solution approach.

Non-technical subject-matter
The problem solved by the invention claimed in the patent application is “at least one problem associated with the playback of a sequence of images with perceptible differences there between, is that the motion and/or flicker and flashing created by the transitions between images can be quite annoying, if not distracting”. The BoA is not impressed by this and states that this problem is non-technical since “watching the playback of a sequence of images with perceptible differences is considered annoying or entertaining is primarily a subjective assessment of a human observer.” Furthermore no technical features are mentioned in claim 1 and the method does not necessarily solve the problem described. Ouch!

Problem solution approach
Using the Problem-solution approach the BoA disintegrates the application. During this analysis the phrase “well known” is used a lot. The BoA concludes after a very well documented journey thrugh the prior art as a person skilled in the art, that the solution is straight forward.

A very nicely argued decision.

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