Claimed Subject Matter:
Determining relative skills of players (Microsoft).
The invention models performance by way of probability distributions and factor graphs.
This case is interesting as the Board of Appeal make reference to Gale’s Application  RPC 305, a UK Court of Appeal case that considered an improved method of evaluating a square root. The Board took a similar approach to Lord Justice Nicholls in the UK case, asking: 1) what does the method as a whole do, and does it produce an overall technical result? And 2) if there is no overall technical result, does the method at least have a technical effect within the computer? If both questions are answered in the negative, no technical problem has been solved and there can be no inventive step. Using this analysis the Board concluded that certain features were not technical and that representing performance by probability distributions and using factor graphs were mathematical methods or abstract computer science concepts. As such there was no inventive step.
The Board came to a similar decision in T 1281/10, a related case. There it was found that “Bayesian learning” would be part of a non-technical method the skilled person would be required to automate.