The examination of computer implemented inventions and artificial intelligence inventions

by Jean-Marc Deltorn, Andrew Thean, Markus Volkmer

04 February 2019

Computer-implemented inventions and applications of artificial intelligence have become an important part of the current innovation landscape. This trend is demonstrated by a significant increase in patents filings in a variety of technical areas, from self-driving vehicles to applications supporting the fourth industrial revolution. The EPO, as the patent granting authority for the contracting states to the EPC, has developed, over time and in line with the case law of the Boards of Appeal, a stable practice regarding the patentability of computer-implemented inventions. This practice now also applies to applications in the field of artificial intelligence, where it offers a stable platform on which applicants and practitioners can secure patent protection for AI inventions at the EPO, with predictable outcomes. This paper provides guidance about the patentability of artificial intelligence at the EPO.