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Conference Papers Year : 2020

Advanced Software and Patents: A Patentability Balance for Fostering Technology

Michele Baccelli
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Kazuto Kobayashi
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Steven C. Sereboff
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Mitsuyoshi Hiratsuka
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Technology advances have usually brought wealth and health to society, while also raising ethical and policy issues. Technology and patents are linked to each other in that patents have been conceived also as a tool for rewarding and motivating the inventor’s endeavors. Patents have been subject to critical views, especially in the era of software where the innovation might be based on non-technological improvements, sometimes arising from new business models, social behavior or trends. For patents to support innovation in its beneficial contribution to society and avoid abuse, a high-quality patent system should be ensured. Many people believe that this requires in the first place to exclude from patent protection those inventions that are purely non-technical. In this paper, the authors analyze the legal situation at the European Patent Office (EPO), considered as setting amongst the worldwide strictest standards in terms of software patentability, and wherein patents are granted only to technology advances. Within this context, the case of software simulators is discussed, since this is directly linked to intangible software inventions and since it is the subject of a case on a point of law pending before the EPO highest instance, such that its outcome may impact patentability of modern software technologies. In conclusion, the authors argue in favor of maintaining the present EPO practice on simulators, as this is seen as a fair balance in Europe between patent protection for intangible inventions based on technology while excluding from patent protection those inventions that are non-technical arrangements.
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Dates and versions

hal-03525258 , version 1 (13-01-2022)





Michele Baccelli, Kazuto Kobayashi, Steven C. Sereboff, Mitsuyoshi Hiratsuka. Advanced Software and Patents: A Patentability Balance for Fostering Technology. 14th IFIP International Conference on Human Choice and Computers (HCC), Sep 2020, Tokyo, Japan. pp.64-76, ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-62803-1_6⟩. ⟨hal-03525258⟩
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