"The European Patent Office (EPO) wants to induce European
governments to remove all legal restrictions on patentability in
november 2000. The German Federal Ministery of Justice (BMJ)
distributed a "Base Proposal for the Revision of the European
Patent Convention" dated 2000-06-27 to the "circles interested in
the patent system" at the beginning of August."
"Recent studies show, that the European Patent Office
examiners tend to grant patents on immaterial objects (such as
software and business methods) even more generously than the USPTO
and JPO colleagues. According to a Japanese comparative study, the EPO
applies even lower standards for assessing the inventivity of
immaterial objects. Moreover, for the purpose of examining the
technicity of business methods, the EPO even plans
to abandon its traditional request that these methods should have
an "additional technical effect" beyond the ordinary use of the
computer, as soon as the limitations on patentability are removed
by the legislator as proposed by the EPO."
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