SONN Patentanwälte – IP Attorneys

EPO case law: Business person and technical expert in computer-implemented inventions

The notional business person might come up with an abstract idea (in this case: avoiding the customer having to provide PIN and account information to the merchant). However, if the invention requires a new infrastructure, new devices and a new protocol involving technical considerations – linked to modified devices and their capabilities as well as security relevant modifications of the transfer of sensitive information using new possibilities achieved by the modifications to the previously known infrastructure – this goes beyond what the notional business person knows and concerns technical implementation details which are more than a straight-forward 1:1 programming of an abstract business idea. Such a subject-matter is in the sphere of the technical expert and subject to the assessment of inventive step, see T 1082/13 (EPO BoA 3 April 2020, T 1749/14, MOBILE PERSONAL POINT-OF-SALE TERMINAL/MAXIM).