Software Patent Protection Under the European Patent Convention

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201508063005
Title: Software Patent Protection Under the European Patent Convention
Author: de Santiago Villagran, Daniel
Other contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, Oikeustieteellinen tiedekunta
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Law
Helsingfors universitet, Juridiska fakulteten
Publisher: Helsingfors universitet
Date: 2014
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201508063005
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/42528
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: European law
Eurooppaoikeus
Europarätt
Abstract: The primary objective of the thesis will be to focus on patent protection of software under the European Patent Convention, by analysing the different approaches that the European Patent Office has taken into consideration since the mid-1980s. These approaches are rooted in the different decisions that emanate from the Technical Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office. The thesis will examine the most relevant decisions illustrating the juridical tendencies and fundaments that have been utilized to decide over the patentability of computer programs. The analysis will conclude with the latest approach taken by the Technical Board of the European Patent Office. The study will examine the patentability requirements of inventions in general established within the European Patent Convention. Subsequently, a case law analysis will be performed of relevant decisions taken by the Technical Boards of Appeal on the patentability of computer programs. Sources for carrying out this research such as case law, legislation, specialized legal commentary; journals and books will serve in this matter. The present study sustains that computer programs may be patented as long as they comply with all the general requirements of an invention prescribed under the European Patent Convention together with an inherent condition established by case law called the technical character requirement. Nevertheless, due to the fact that the Technical Boards of Appeal are not bound by previous case law, the current position could keep evolving as it relies on the political stance the European Patent Office has on patentability of computer programs.


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