CategoryDigital Patents

Why patent strategy MUST be rooted in economics

Just in case it has slipped your mind: Patent strategy must always be rooted in economics. I’d love to share Prof. Dr. Alexander J. Wurzer’s recent IP Management Nugget, which is a great reminder that a smart patenting approach requires identifying the payment stream generated from the use of the IP.  I see it all the time that companies have a hard time figuring out what the IP...

AI patents in Europe: grant rate rising, but still below average

If you’re a numbers person, you will love Haseltine Lake Kemper’s recent article From Filing to Opposition: What are the Statistics on Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Patents & Applications at the EPO. The author Frances Wilding presents very interesting statistics about European patent applications in IPC class G06N (the class stands for “computer systems based on specific...

Can an AI be an inventor?

Or is the real question: Should an AI be an inventor? Maiwald’s Simon Lud argues that artificial intelligence systems should be granted legal personality. I’m leaning towards a different approach: I very much enjoyed Beat Weibel‘s pragmatic point of view in an interview on Rolf Claessen‘s IP Fridays podcast. He appreciates that the DABUS project has brought up the topic...

No patents for computer games? Look closely!

Did you know that Clash of Clans and Hay Day generated €2 million in revenue a day in 2013 for Finnish mobile game development company Supercell? And would you have thought that Supercell has 180+ published patent documents? I’ve looked through some of them in an Instagram Reel (in German). Some notable examples: EP 2 836 278 B1 “SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR CONTROLLING TECHNICAL...

How to draft the claims in an algorithm patent (with free template)

Many European Patent Attorneys still seem to struggle with getting software patent claims right. Maybe because they are experts in drafting claims for a physical product and the corresponding manufacturing method. But an algorithm needs a different approach. Is an algorithm a product or a process anyway? Things get even more complicated when the invention involves artificial intelligence and...

The 5 layers of value creation for IoT business models

How come that two companies with the same target use case can have fundamentally different patent portfolio strategies? In this video, Prof. Alexander Wurzer explains a useful layer model to understand how companies can create value in Internet of Things environments. Source: IP Business Academy The video explains the 5-layer model by looking at Sonos and Spotify. Both companies serve the same...

Which countries are most favorable towards digital patents?

There is no global patent, so patents are ultimately subject to national jurisdictions. Different patent offices have different legal provisions and different case law. From my European perspective, I’d say the EPO has a very stable examination framework for digital patents (or computer-implemented inventions, as they are called correctly) – from a birds-eye perspective. This allows...

How to debunk a bad digital patent attorney

How can I tell whether my outside patent attorney is competent for digital patents? The question came up during a conversation I had the other day with an in-house patent attorney in a large German corporation in the chemical industry. Here are some indicators I’d look out for: Is the outside patent attorney able to speak to your developers on eye level?Do his/her EP patent application drafts...

Google DeepMind just patented reinforcement learning with pseudo-counts

Yesterday I was searching for an interesting patent to discuss in my next Software Patent Review. When I saw that Google’s DeepMind very recently received a European patent on “Reinforcement learning with pseudo-counts“, I knew the search was over. What’s the point of the patent? The patent covers a reinforcement learning technique which selects actions for a mechanical...

Artificial intelligence patents at the EPO explained in 15 minutes

The European Patent Office (EPO) has a stable and structured approach to patenting computer-implemented inventions. But how do AI/ML inventions fit in? Find out in this recording of my talk at the National Association of Patent Practitioners (NAPP) Annual Conference 2021: Many thanks to Alex Pokot for hosting the panel, to my co-panelists Kenny Ko and Tatsuya Sawada, and to David Stein for making...