Case-Law: Patentability of Computer-Implemented Simulations
With its decision G1 / 19 on the patentability of computer-implemented simulations, the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office made it clear that such simulations can contribute to the technical character of an invention. The Enlarged Board of Appeal found that an examination using the well-known COMVIK approach could also be applied to computer-implemented simulations. Every technical effect that goes beyond the usual electrical interactions of a computer must be taken into account. In particular, it is not fundamentally necessary that there is a direct connection to physical reality. For example, adjustments to the computer or a data transfer could also lead to a technical effect. With regard to simulations, for example, the Enlarged Board of Appeal sees the accuracy of a simulation as a factor that can have an influence on the technical effect. Algorithms could also be relevant for assessing inventive step if they help to solve the applicable equations reliably and quickly enough. As a consequence of the decision of the Enlarged Board of Appeal, the established case law of the European Patent Office on computer-implemented inventions (CII) can also be largely transferred to computer-implemented simulations, so that further exciting developments in the protection of simulations in Europe can be expected in the future.