Crystal J. Chen Partner of TSAI, LEE & CHEN Patent Attorneys & Attorneys at Law Software & Business Methods China & Taiwan...
Patentable Subject Matter - China <ul><li>An invention as indicated in the Patent Law means “ any new technical solution  ...
Patentable Subject Matter – China (cont.) <ul><li>The 3-pronged test is a requirement for all inventions to be patentable,...
Claims of Software and Business Method  in China <ul><li>“ The claims of an invention application relating to computer pro...
Claims of Software and Business Method  in China (Cont.) <ul><li>A product claim for a software or business method inventi...
Patentable Subject Matter - Taiwan <ul><li>An invention refers to “any creation of technical concepts by utilizing the rul...
Patentable Subject Matter – Taiwan (Cont.) <ul><li>Business method  per se  is inherently not patentable; </li></ul><ul><l...
Claims of Software and Business Method  in Taiwan <ul><li>Both method claims and article claims are acceptable   - 2008 So...
Patentability Requirements – Taiwan  <ul><li>A claim drafted in means(step)-plus-function format, a computer software inve...
Patentability Requirements– Taiwan(cont.) <ul><li>Besides, a software invention must involve an inventive, technical contr...
Business Method Patent in China and Taiwan in Comparison with the Position  In re Bilski <ul><li>In re Bilski   </li></ul>...
<ul><li>TSAI, LEE & CHEN Patent Attorneys & Attorneys at Law </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>11 th  FL., 148 Songjia...
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China &amp; Taiwan Perspectives On Software Patents

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China &amp; Taiwan Perspectives On Software Patents

  1. 1. Crystal J. Chen Partner of TSAI, LEE & CHEN Patent Attorneys & Attorneys at Law Software & Business Methods China & Taiwan Perspectives
  2. 2. Patentable Subject Matter - China <ul><li>An invention as indicated in the Patent Law means “ any new technical solution relating to a product , a process or improvement thereof.” -- R 2.1, Implementing Regulations of the Patent Law </li></ul><ul><li>A complete technical solution must meet the 3-pronged test, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>to solve a technical problem by a technical measure to produce a technical effect . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Non-Statutory Subject Matter - “Rules and methods of mental activities” -- Article 25.1(2) of the Patent Law </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mathematic methods and all non-technical human solutions – Chapter 9 of the Examination Guideline </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Patentable Subject Matter – China (cont.) <ul><li>The 3-pronged test is a requirement for all inventions to be patentable, including software-related inventions and business method inventions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Algorithm and business method per se do not meet the three-pronged test. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>An invention is patentable if technical features are involved. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Software inventions comprise of rules or methods of games and sports, methods or plans by human reason/memory are not absolutely non-patentable in China. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Claims of Software and Business Method in China <ul><li>“ The claims of an invention application relating to computer programs may be drafted as process claims or product claims …” – Chapter 9 of the Examination Guideline </li></ul><ul><li>A process (method) claim must recite a new technical solution, stating the functions carried out by the process and how such functions are achieved. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Methods standing alone without specifying their interaction with the corresponding machines are considered Rules and methods of mental activities. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A software invention cannot be drafted as a computer program carried on a computer program product, or a computer readable medium, for it is deemed mental activities under the Patent Law. – Chapter 9 of the Examination Guideline </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To draft a method claim for software invention, step-plus function drafting technique is not helpful because such claimed method needs to interrelate with physical apparatuses </li></ul>
  5. 5. Claims of Software and Business Method in China (Cont.) <ul><li>A product claim for a software or business method invention that is realized by a computer software can be written (1) in the form of means-plus-function language, and (2) when the apparatus strictly correspond to each step of that method. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A product claim drafted in means-plus-function format is a virtual product claim for the realization of a method invention </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>not claiming to the apparatus/machine itself, but to a method that functions through the apparatus/machines. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Patentable Subject Matter - Taiwan <ul><li>An invention refers to “any creation of technical concepts by utilizing the rules of nature.” -- Article 21 of the Patent Act </li></ul><ul><li>Software-related invention is patentable if technical characters are involved. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Software inventions comprise of rules or methods of games and sports, methods or plans by human reason/memory are not absolutely non-patentable in Taiwan. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The technological art, or technical character is found when using a technical means to resolve a technical problem , and producing further technical effect that goes beyond the normal physical interactions between the software program and the computer. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Patentable Subject Matter – Taiwan (Cont.) <ul><li>Business method per se is inherently not patentable; </li></ul><ul><li>Business method are patentable if it contains technical characters to achieve the intended business object. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When it can be directly or indirectly carried out by hardware resources (computer or network) to implement its business purpose, it is patentable under the Patent Act. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Claims of Software and Business Method in Taiwan <ul><li>Both method claims and article claims are acceptable - 2008 Software Invention Guidelines. </li></ul><ul><li>Method claims: must recite methods or steps to be carried out by a machine or an apparatus. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Business methods are a type of method claim. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Article claims: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(1) apparatus or system: must recite the article components carrying out the functions intended by the software </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(2) computer readable medium (CRM) that is tangible, (3) computer program product that carries computer readable programs without regard to their external forms, and (4) data structure product: must must state each step that such subject matter causes the hardware to execute. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Step-plus-function language can be used to describe the technical features of method and article claims. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Patentability Requirements – Taiwan <ul><li>A claim drafted in means(step)-plus-function format, a computer software invention lacks novelty if: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The prior art perform identical function of technical character for means(step)-plus-function features </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The difference between prior art and technical character is just the form of language. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The differences only reside in the genus and species of the corresponding technical features, and the genus invention have been published. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The interchangeability of the element shown in the prior art for the corresponding technical feature disclosed in the specification can be recognized . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2008 Software Invention Guidelines </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Patentability Requirements– Taiwan(cont.) <ul><li>Besides, a software invention must involve an inventive, technical contribution to the prior art. Otherwise, there is no inventive step (the invention is obvious). </li></ul><ul><li>Lack inventive step – 2008 Software Invention Guidelines </li></ul><ul><ul><li>an application to other technical fields </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a design change based on a well-known fact or custom </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>systemization of operation process that human undertakes, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>implementation by software of functions that are otherwise performed by hardware. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Business Method Patent in China and Taiwan in Comparison with the Position In re Bilski <ul><li>In re Bilski </li></ul><ul><li>The CAFC rejected to use the “technological arts” test for determining patent eligibility because the term is ambiguous and ever-changing. </li></ul><ul><li>The “machine-transformation” test is only limited to process claims; therefore, apparatus claims may remain a tool for protecting software invention. </li></ul><ul><li>CAFC did not exclude the patentability of Business method per se </li></ul><ul><li>China </li></ul><ul><li>The 3-pronged test of technical solution has to be all satisfied in order to be patentable. </li></ul><ul><li>Taiwan </li></ul><ul><li>Must produce further technical effect that goes beyond the normal physical interaction between software and the machine. </li></ul><ul><li>Same requirements in both regions </li></ul><ul><li>Business method per se is not eligible </li></ul><ul><li>All method claims, including business method, need to recite functions carried out by hardware or machines. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>TSAI, LEE & CHEN Patent Attorneys & Attorneys at Law </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>11 th FL., 148 Songjiang Rd., Taipei 104, Taiwan </li></ul><ul><li>Tel: +886-2-2564-2565 Fax: +886-2-2562-7650 </li></ul><ul><li>Email: info@tsailee.com.tw Website:http://www.tsailee.com </li></ul>

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