Our Alvin Lam reports a successful hearing before the EPO Board of Appeal in a software case.
He persuaded Board 3.5.06 to overturn a decision of an Examining Division to refuse a patent application directed to an optimized parallel processing method of unloading tables in a database. The Board held that absent evidence or implication in the available prior art that a generally well-known optimization algorithm was well-known in the context of database processing or specific kinds of operations, it is not sufficient to show obviousness by the mere fact that the algorithm is well-known per senor the fact that it is straightforward to adapt the algorithm to the particular problem. The full analysis can be found in the Reasons for the Decision in T 0353/07. Alvin says, "It is reassuring to see that the EPO will grant patents for software that provides a technical impact".