Patentability of Computer Programs in Europe

by Yulia Borisova

19 February 2021

The subject matter of this paper is focused on software inventions, which emerged in the practice of European Patent Office under the umbrella of “computer program having a technical character”. This concept is built without a proper definition of “computer program” and remains insufficiently researched. However, such patents are already granted. The main questions examined in the paper include the following: • What does Article 52 of the European Patent Convention understand under unpatentable “programs for computers as such”? • Are there any elements in a computer program that are not excluded by Article 52 and thus can qualify as inventions? • What is the role and the meaning of “further technical effect” that must be produced by a computer program in order to be patentable?