What is the purpose of technical filings

Guidelines for Examination

Formulation of the objective technical problem for claims comprising technical and non-technical features

The objective technical problem must be a technical problem which the person skilled in the relevant technical field might have been asked to solve on the relevant date. The formulation of the technical problem must not refer to facts of which the skilled person could only gain knowledge on the basis of the claimed solution (G ‑ VII, 5.2). The objective technical task of an invention must therefore be formulated in such a way that it does not contain any technical solution approaches. However, this principle only applies to the features of the claimed subject matter which contribute to the technical character of the invention and are thus part of the technical solution. Just because a feature appears in the claim does not automatically exclude it from the formulation of the task. In particular, if the claim refers to an objective in a non-technical area, this objective may be taken up when formulating the task as part of the framework conditions for the technical task to be solved, in particular as a requirement to be met (T 641/00).

In other words, the formulation of the objective technical problem can refer to features that make no technical contribution or to a non-technical effect that the invention achieves within the given framework in which the technical problem was posed, e.g. B. in the form of a "requirements specification" addressed to a person skilled in the art. The aim of formulating the technical problem in accordance with these principles is to ensure that inventive step is granted only on the basis of features that contribute to the technical character of the invention. The technical effects used to formulate the objective technical task must be able to be derived from the application as filed, taking into account the state of the art closest to the invention (G ‑ VII, 5.2).

In the case of claims that are aimed at the technical implementation of a non-technical process or system - in particular business processes or rules of the game - a change in the underlying non-technical process or system with the aim of circumventing the technical task instead of inherently technical Art to solve, not viewed as a technical contribution to the state of the art (T 258/03, T 414/12). Rather, such a solution is a change in the specifications of the person skilled in the art who is involved in implementing the respective non-technical process or system.

In such cases, any further technical advantages or effects associated with the special features of the implementation and going beyond the effects and advantages inherent in the underlying non-technical process or system must be taken into account. The latter can at best be viewed as a side effect of this implementation (T 1543/06). They are not technical effects for the purpose of defining the objective technical task.

In a game that is played online via a decentralized computer system, the effect of reducing the data streams achieved by reducing the maximum number of players cannot form the basis for the formulation of the objective technical task. Rather, this effect is the direct consequence of the change in the rules of the game inherent in the non-technical system. The task of reducing the data streams is not addressed by a technical solution, but bypassed by the non-technical game solution offered. The feature that defines the maximum number of players thus represents a certain specification that is part of the non-technical system, with the implementation of which the expert, e.g. B. a software engineer. It would still have to be checked whether the claimed specific technical implementation would have been obvious to him.