Archive for November, 2012

Case:

T_0505/09

Claimed Subject Matter:

System, method, and computer program product for identifying code development errors.

Comments:

The invention related to a method for identifying defective program code. In this case, the board considered the extent of the common general knowledge. While certain testing techniques were agreed to form part of the common general knowledge, the board directed that further, and preferably written, evidence was required to demonstrate that certain knowledge was also well known in the specific field of software testing and debugging.

Case:

T 1893/08

Claimed Subject Matter:

A compiler system.

The subject-matter of claim 1 differs from the disclosure of the prior art in the following features:

    • information on data definitions is in the form of a common language file represented in a different language to first and second source code languages;
    • the first source language has an import statement that imports a common language file; and
    • as part of said examination, determining if the statement is an import statement related to the common language file and, if so, reading the common language file into a symbol table by parsing the common language file and adding type and method information in metadata in the common language file to the symbol table.

Comments:

This case demonstrates that features of a compiler system may be seen as technical features. Information on data definitions was provided in the form of a common language file represented in a different language to first and second languages for compilation. The first language had an “import” statement that imported the common language file.

The board concluded that these features did provide an inventive step when compared to the cited art. In particular, the board considered that the cited art suggested a particular solution that differed from the claimed solution; as such the skilled person had no motivation to introduce the novel compiler features.

Case:

T 1996/07

Claimed Subject Matter:

Processing character information.

The invention differs from the prior art essentially by the following features:

    • [text] conversion candidates are stored in relation to time information representative of a predetermined period (timeband) in a 24 hour day;
    • a time recording part records and outputs conversion time information representative of a time of conversion, in the 24-hour day, of the conversion object into said one or more conversion candidates; and
    • the time information and the conversion time information are used for converting the conversion object into the one or more conversion candidates such that a conversion candidate, the predetermined timeband of which corresponds to the time of conversion, is displayed as a supreme conversion candidate.

For example, in the morning, if the user typed “G”, “Good morning” may be displayed as opposed to “Good night”.

Comments:

In the decision it was determined that an alleged technical advantage relied upon a specific language habit of a user.

As it would not be correct to specify features that defined a prospective user’s cultural background, the technical problem needed to be reformulated to relate solely to objective technical effects or objective technical properties of the invention as claimed.

When the problem was so formulated the invention was found to be obvious over the prior art.