For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Something to read -- and indeed to sample

Always fascinated by lawbooks for laymen, the IPKat notes the recent publication of Patent Law for Computer Scientists: Steps to Protect Computer-Implemented Inventions, by Daniel Closa, Alex Gardiner, Falk Giemsa and Jörg Machek.


Who are the authors? Daniel Closa studied in France and worked for Thomson before joining the European Patent Office (EPO) as an examiner in Berlin. Transferring to Munich, he gained experience in the electronics field and specialised in opposition procedures. Alex Gardiner, an engineering from Aberdeen University, is also an EPO man, though he moved from Munich to Hague, where he worked with business method applications. Safely back in Munich again, he has trained examiners. Falk Giemsa studied computer science in Munich, then signed up for the EPO as an examiner; he too works in the field of business methods, as well as educational and demonstration appliances. Jörg Machek, a physicist, is educated in Austria and England. Having worked in manufacturing and semiconductor devices research, he too joined the EPO where he is now a director in charge of searching and examining computer-implemented inventions and methods for doing business. All write in their private capacities. However, while the addition of four zeros only ever totals zero, the addition of four EPO computer software experts may come out to a higher figure ...

This team has explained to the IPKat that it has sought to addresses the difficulty of writing patent applications in the field of computer implemented inventions -- not to mention the difficult and controversial question whether an invention in that field can be protected by a patent at all. The book contains, instead of the boring old case law, "a synopsis of current filing practices, requirements and philosophies across the major patent offices", focusing principally on business methods, gaming, computer simulation and graphics user interfaces. The goal is to let inventors, "normally in association with their patent attorney", decide if and where the filing of a patent application may enjoy reasonable chances of grant of a patent.

This book will receive in due course a proper review on this weblog. Meanwhile, if you can't bear to be without it, you can get details of it from the Springer website here.

If you fancy sampling it, you can read the Contents here, the Preface here and a 16 page sample relating to Business Methods here.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I recall Mr Machek speaking at CIPA hall about eight years ago. He was one of a number of speakers there to discuss the EPO's intention to manage its workload, if I recall correctly.

Once all the speakers had said their piece, questions were taken from the floor. There were a number of questions regarding the EPO's management of its workload by refusing to search certain applications - a hot topic at the time. Eventually, exasperated by the answers to these questions, one member of the profession asked: but, what is a technical effect?

Mr Machek's answer: A technical effect is a bit like a camel: hard to define, but you know one when you see one.

Anonymous said...

Mr Gardiner and, I think, Mr Machek came up here to the Script-Ed meeting in Edinburgh last year to speak. On the basis of their talk, I'd have thought it would be a very short book - "abandon hope, all ye who file in here"!

Anonymous said...

The writing style of the 16 page sample is rather off-putting, I must say.

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