Tuesday 10 November 2015

When Does Presentation of Information Count for Inventiveness?

The decision T 0336/14 offers new insights on the treatment of "mixed inventions" at the EPO.

The headnote is as follows:
In the assessment of inventive step of a claim which comprises technical and non-technical features ("mixed invention") and in which the non-technical features relate to cognitive content presented to the user of a graphical user interface (GUI), i.e. relate to "what" is presented rather than "how" something is presented, it has to be analysed whether the GUI together with the content presented  credibly assists the user in performing a technical task (related to "why" that content is presented) by means of a continued and/or guided human-machine interaction process (see point 1.2).

The board summarizes the case-law and comes to the conclusion that
In other words, it has to be established whether the information presented constitutes "technical information", which credibly enables the user to properly operate the underlying technical system and thus has a technical effect, or rather "non-technical information", which is exclusively aimed at the mental activities of the system user as the final addressee.

In this blogger's view, the latter offers a quite handy and reasonable test which will surely be frequently cited in examination procedures.

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