The term „state of the art“ in Article 54 EPC should, in compliance
with the French and German text, be understood as „state of technology“,
which in the context of the EPC does not include the state of the art in
commerce and business methods. The term „everything“ in Article 54(2) EPC is
to be understood as concerning such kind of information which is relevant to
some field of technology.
From these considerations it follows that anything which is not related to
any technological field or field from which, because of its informational
character, a skilled person would expect to derive any technically relevant
information, does not belong to the state of the art to be considered in the
context of Articles 54 and 56, even if it had been made available to the
general public before the relevant priority date (see points 8 to 10 of the reasons).
A claim has to be assessed as a whole. If it makes use of both technical and
non-technical means the use of non-technical means does not detract from the
technical character of the overall teaching. The EPC does not require that a
patentable invention be exclusively or largely of a technical nature, in other
words it does not prohibit the patenting of inventions consisting of a mix of
technical and non-technical elements.
A consideration of the particular manner of implementation must focus on
any further technical advantages or effects associated with the specific
features of implementation over and above the effects and advantages inherent in
the excluded subject-matter (reasons 2.5)
A set of game rules defines a regulatory framework agreed between players
and concerning conduct, conventions and conditions that are meaningful only in a
gaming context. It is perceived as such by players involved, and as serving the
explicit purpose of playing a game. As such an agreed framework it is a purely
abstract, mental construct, though the method and means for carrying out game
play in accordance with such a set may well be technical in nature (reasons 3.3.1).
An invention relating to the co-ordination and control of the internal
communication between programs and data files held at different processors in a
data processing system having a plurality of interconnected data processors in a
telecommunication network, and the features of which are not concerned with the
nature of the data and the way in which a particular application program
operates on them, is to be regarded as solving a problem which is essentially
technical. Such an invention therefore is to be regarded as an invention within
the meaning of Article 52(1) EPC.