Advertisement

Business Method Patents in Europe and their Strategic Use — Evidence from Franking Device Manufacturers

Abstract

There has been a wide-spread misconception based on the wording of the European Patent Convention (EPC), which is not easily understood by non-experts, that the protection of business methods by patents is prohibited in Europe. As a consequence, a significant body of the legal, academic and business community believes that there is no patent protection available for business method inventions within the European patent system. However, a closer look reveals that business methods are eligible for patentability in Europe and are actually being granted by the European Patent Office despite the apparent exclusion in Article 52 EPC.

Keywords

Patent Application European Patent European Patent Officer International Patent Classification Patent Holder 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Bibliography

  1. Allison, J. R. & Tiller, E. H. (2003), ‘The Business Method Patent Myth’, Berkeley Technology Law Journal 18, 5–27.Google Scholar
  2. Anders, W. (2001), ‘Wie viel technischen Charakter braucht eine computerimplementierte Geschäftsmethode, um auf erfinderischer Tätigkeit zu beruhen?’, Gewerblicher Rechtsschutz und Urheherrecht pp. 555–560.Google Scholar
  3. Bagley, M. A. (2001), ‘Internet Business Model Patents: Obvious by Analogy’, Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Revue 7, 253–288.Google Scholar
  4. Beresford, K. (2000), Patenting Software under the European Patent Convention, Sweet & Maxwell, London.Google Scholar
  5. Blind, K., Edler, J., Nack, R. & Straus, J. (2003), Software-Patente — Eine empirische Analyse aus ökonomischer und juristischer Perspektive, Phyisca-Verlag, Heidelberg.Google Scholar
  6. Cohen, J. E. & Lemley, M. A. (2001), ‘Patent Scope and Innovation in the Software Industry’, California Law Revue 89, 1–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Competition Commission (2002), Neopost SA and Ascom Holding AG: A report on the proposed merger. Report 465, United Kingdom Competition Commission.Google Scholar
  8. Conley, J. M. (2003), ‘The International Law of Business Method Patens’, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Economic Review pp. 15–33.Google Scholar
  9. Council of the European Community (2004), Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the patentability of computer-implemented inventions — presidency compromis proposal, 5570/04, Council of the European Community, Brussels. Also available as http://register.consilium.eu.int/pdf/en/04/st05/st05570.en04.pdf, latest visit on September, 8th, 2004.
  10. Dreyfuss, R. C. D. (2000), ‘Are Business Method Patents Bad for Business’, Santa Clara Computer and High Technology Law Journal 16, 263–278.Google Scholar
  11. European Patent Office (2000). Basic Proposal for the Revision of the European Patent Convention, CA/100/00e, European Patent Office, Munich. Also available as http://www3.european-patent-office.org/dwld/dipl_conf/pdf/ec00100_.pdf, latest visit on September, 8th, 2004.
  12. Gianotti, L. (2005), Business Methods, E-Commerce, and Finance, SR-Brief 7/2005, European Patent Office.Google Scholar
  13. Guellec, D. & Pottelsberghe, B. v. (2000), ‘Applications, Grants and the Value of Patents’, Economic Letters 69(1), 109–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hall, B. (2003), Business Method Patents, Innovation, and Policy, Working Paper 9717, NBER, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  15. Hall, B., Graham, S., Harhoff, D. & Mowery, D. (2003), Prospects for Improving U.S. Patent Quahty via Post-grant Opposition, Working Paper 9731, NBER.Google Scholar
  16. Hall, B. & Harhoff, D. (2002), Intellectual Property Strategy in the Global Cosmetics Industry, Working paper. University of Munich, Munich.Google Scholar
  17. Hall, B. & Ziedonis, R. (2001), ‘The Determinants of Patenting in the U.S. Semiconductor Industry, 1980–1994’, RAND Journal of Economics 32(1), 101–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Harhoff, D., Narin, P., Scheror, F. & Vopel, K. (1999), ‘Citation Frequency and the Value of Patented Innovation’, Review of Economics and Statistics 81(3), 511–515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Harhoff, D. & Reitzig, M. (2004), ‘Determinants of Opposition against EPO patent grants — the Case of Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals’, International Journal of Industrial Organization 22(4), 443–480.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Harhoff, D., Scherer, F. & Volpel, K. (2003), ‘Citations, Family Size, Opposition and the Value of Patents Rights’, Research Policy 32(8), 1343–1363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Harhoff, D. & Wagner, S. (2003), Modelling the Duration of Patent Examination at the European Patent Office, Working Paper 324, SFB 386, University of Munich, Munich.Google Scholar
  22. Hart, R., Holmes, P. & Reid, J. (2000), The Economic Impact of Patentability of Computer Programs, Report to the European Commission, OECD.Google Scholar
  23. Heller, M. A. (1998), ‘The Tragedy of the Anticommons: Property in the Transition from Marx to Markets’, Harvard Law Revue 11, 621–688.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Heller, M. A. & Eisenberg, R. S. (1998), ‘Can Patents Deter Innovation? The Anticommons in Biomedical Research’, Science 280, 248–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hellfeld, A. v. (1989), ‘Sind Alghorithmen schutzfähig?’, Gewerhlicher Rechtsschutz und Urheberrecht pp. 471–485.Google Scholar
  26. Hunt, R. (2001), ‘You can patent that? Are Patents on Computer Programs and Business Methods Good for the New Economy’, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Business Review pp. 5–15.Google Scholar
  27. Hunter, S. (2003), Have Business Method Patents gotten a Bum Rap? Some Empirical Evidence, Working Paper 182, Center for eBusiness@MIT, Boston.Google Scholar
  28. Kober, I. (2001), ‘Die Rolle des Europäischen Patentamtes im Spannungsfeld globaler Wirtschaftsentwicklungen’, Gewerhlicher Rechtsschutz und Urheberrecht Intemationaler Teil pp. 493–497.Google Scholar
  29. Kuester, J. & Thompson, L. E. (2001), ‘Risks Associated with Restricting Business Method and e-Commerce Patents’, Georgia State University Law Review 17, 657–689.Google Scholar
  30. Lanjouw, J. O. & Schankermann, M. (2001), ‘Characteristics of Patent Litigation: A Window on Competition’, RAND Journal of Economics 32(1), 129–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lemley, M. A. (2001), ‘Rational Ignorance at the Patent Office’, Northwestern University Law Review 95(4), 21–56.Google Scholar
  32. Lerner, J. (1994), ‘The Importance of Patent Scope: An empirical Analysis’, RAND Journal of Economics 25(2), 319–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lerner, J. (1995), ‘Patenting in the Shadow of Competitors’, Journal of Law and Economics 38(2), 1495–1496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Likhovski, M., Spence, M. & Molineaux, M. (2000), The First Mover Monopoly — A study on patenting business methods in Europe, Working paper, Olswang and Oxford Intellectual Property Centre, Oxford University.Google Scholar
  35. Lunney, G. S. (2001), ‘E-Obviousness’, Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Revue 7, 363–422.Google Scholar
  36. Merges, R. P. (1999), ‘As Many as Six Impossible Patents before Breakfast: Property Rights for Business Concepts and Patent System Reform’, Berkeley Technology Law Journal 14, 577–615.Google Scholar
  37. Meurer, M. (2002), ‘Business Method Patents and Patent Floods’, Washington University Journal of Law and Policy 8, 309–340.Google Scholar
  38. Michel, J. & Bettels, B. (2001), ‘Patent Citation Analysis — A closer Look at the Basic Input Data from Patent Search Reports’, Scientometrics 51(1), 185–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. National Research Council (2004), A Patent System for the 21 st Century, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  40. Scotchmer, S. (2005), Innovation and Incentives, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  41. Shapiro, C. (2001), Navigating the Patent Thicket: Cross Licenses, Patent Pool, and Standard Setting, Vol. 1 of Innovation Policy and the Economy, MIT Press.Google Scholar
  42. Tang, P., Adams, J. & Paré, D. (2001), Patent Protection of Computer Programs, Report to the European Commission, European Commission.Google Scholar
  43. Ttajtenberg, M., Henderson, R. & Jaffe, A. (1997), ‘University versus Corporate Patents: A Window on the Basicness of Invention’, Economics of Innovation and New Technology 5, 19–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. USPTO (1999), Automated Financial or Management Data Processing Methods (Business Methods), White paper. Also available as http://www.uspto.gov/web/menu/busmethp/whitepaper.pdf, latest visit on September, 27th, 2004.
  45. USPTO (2003), General Information Concerning Patents, Brochure.Google Scholar
  46. Wright, B. C. (2002), ‘Business Method Patents: Are There any Limits?’, J. Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law 2, 30–56.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Deutscher Universitats-Verlag/GWV Fachverlage GmbH 2006

Personalised recommendations