Our partners and attorneys are highly qualified and highly experienced to advise you in all areas of Intellectual Property law. We advise start-ups, SMEs, and multinational corporations and ensure that your inventions, brands and designs are expertly protected.
There is a second new example assessment of inventive step at G-VII, 22.214.171.124. This example assesses a computer-implemented method of determining areas in which there is an increased risk of condensation for a surface in a building.
The example claim includes algorithmic/mathematical steps and a presentation of information step. Since the mathematical steps are used to predict the physical state (condensation) of a real object (the surface), from measurements of physical properties (IR image, measured air temperature and relative air humidity over time), they contribute to a technical effect serving a technical purpose.
However, the use of colour to indicate to a user which areas are at increased risk of condensation is considered to be a subjective presentation choice without a technical effect, and so not contributing to technical character and inventive step.
The second example claim is:
A computer-implemented method of determining areas in which there is an increased risk of condensation for a surface in a building comprising the steps of:
(a) controlling an infrared (IR) camera to capture an image of the temperature distribution of the surface;
(b) receiving mean values for the air temperature and the relative air humidity measured inside the building over the last 24 hours;
(c) calculating, based on said mean air temperature and mean relative air humidity, a condensation temperature at which there is a risk of condensation on the surface;
(d) comparing the temperature at each point on the image to said calculated condensation temperature;
(e) identifying the image points having a temperature lower than the calculated condensation temperature as areas at increased risk of condensation on the surface; and
(f) modifying the image by colouring the image points identified in step (e) in a particular colour to indicate the areas at increased risk of condensation to a user.
Step (a) is technical, but in the example the use of an IR camera for obtaining temperature readings on a surface was novel but not considered inventive.
For step (f), the EPO Guidelines explains that a choice of presentation is not considered to produce a technical effect. In the example, the use of colours in step (f) to indicate areas at increased risk of condensation was novel over the closest prior art but the EPO Guidelines note that this is a particular manner of presenting information to a user which does not produce a technical effect (since any effect of the choice of displaying data using colours rather than numerical values depends on subjective preferences of the user: some users may prefer the former and other the latter). This feature does not make a technical contribution. It cannot support the presence of an inventive step.
Steps (b)-(e) are the ones that provide an inventive step. The EPO’s most important comments are:
Since the above-mentioned algorithmic and mathematical steps (b) to (e) are used to predict the physical state (condensation) of an existing real object (surface) from measurements of physical properties (IR image, measured air temperature and relative air humidity over time), they contribute to a technical effect serving a technical purpose.
This applies regardless of what use is made of the output information about the risk of condensation on the surface
The main prior art did not suggest considering a temperature distribution on a surface (as opposed to at a single point) and calculating mean values for air temperature and taking relative air humidity measured inside the building over the last 24 hours into consideration. Neither does it suggest taking into account different conditions which may realistically occur inside the building over time for predicting the risk of condensation.
Assuming that no other prior art suggests the technical solution of the objective technical problem defined by distinguishing features (1)-(4), the subject-matter of claim 1 involves an inventive step.
Features which, when taken in isolation, are non-technical but do, in the context of the claimed invention, contribute to producing a technical effect serving a technical purpose (features (b) to (e), which are algorithmic/mathematical steps). Since said features contribute to the technical character of the invention, they may support the presence of an inventive step.
The basics cookie, when enabled, means that we can save your preferences for the cookie settings panel and you won’t see the banner pop-up again unless you clear your browser’s cookie cache.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to interact with this panel again to enable or disable the cookies.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.
This website uses DoubleClick and Quancast to collect anonymous information such as the number of visitors to the site, and the most popular pages.
Keeping this cookie enabled helps us to improve our website.
Please enable Strictly Necessary Cookies first so that we can save your preferences!