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Technical solutions not technical problems

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Revision as of 11:18, 13 July 2012 by Ciaran (Talk | contribs)

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Some authors suggest that the criteria for patentability should be applied to problems rather than solutions. For example, if a patent application has to be "technical", then they say that solving a technical problem is sufficient.

This is incorrect, and it's important to avoid the confusion.

Consider a company that holds meetings on the fourth floor of a building. They install a new lift, but there's a technical problem: the lift doesn't stop at even floors. Possible solutions:

  1. Modify the hardware of the lift, enabling it to stop at the fourth floor.
  2. Hold meetings on the third or fifth floor.

The first solution is technical, the second isn't.

If patent offices make the mistake of granting patents for solutions to technical problems, they will effectively eliminate the requirement for patent applications to be technical.

And then, of course, there must be a clarification that software ideas are not considered technical (in terms of the patent law).

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