New examination guidelines for computer implemented inventions
Jan 29, 2021

New examination guidelines for computer implemented inventions

Since early 2021, a revised and updated version of Patent Examination Guidelines for Computer Implemented Inventions (CII), originally published in 2016, came into force.

In the context of the ongoing digital revolution, computer programs are enabling innovations unreachable before and, thus, creating patentable technical solutions.

The revision of the CII guidelines seeks to:

  • Structure themes and explore them with an updated approach;
  • Exemplify cases of legal prohibitions and cases eligible for patent protection;
  • Provide clear definitions for the examiners to rely on (such as “algorithm” or “embedded software”);
  • Clarify best practices for patent drafting given the peculiarities of programming.

In summary, to be considered patent eligible matter, the computer implemented invention must be a solution associated to a technical problem in a given area of knowledge.

As examples of matters eligible for patent protection, we can mention (i) a system that relies on a software for solving braking problems in a vehicle; (ii) the use of artificial intelligence techniques in tools of logistics or data management. The patent must only be granted in association with a technical solution with apparent effects.

Therefore, it is extremely important that companies verify the eligibility for patent protection of new technological solutions before releasing them to the market.

We welcome the initiative of the BPTO in revising the guidelines, which offer a modern patent system and improve legal certainty for inventors, companies and entrepreneurs.

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