2022 updates to EPO Guidelines for Examination – Update relating to games

7. Update relating to games

This forms part of a wider report on the 2022 updates to EPO Guidelines for Examination.


In a section discussing patentability of games, section G-II, 3.5.2 of the previous Guidelines and the new version tells us that:

“…An example of a technical context in which the manner of presenting information can make a technical contribution is the interactive control of real-time manoeuvres in a game world, the display of which is subject to conflicting technical requirements.

The following has been added:

“Aside from rules, the state of a game world may also evolve in accordance with numerical data and equations that model physical principles or pseudo-physical behaviour, especially in video games. The systematic calculation of updates to such game states amounts to a computer-implemented simulation based on these models (G 1/19). For the purpose of assessing inventive step in this context, the models are to be understood as defining a given constraint for a corresponding implementation on a computer (G-VII, 5.4). In contrast to effects that reside within the virtual game world or are otherwise inherent to the model already, a specific implementation of a simulation, if adapted to the internal functioning of a computer system, produces a technical effect. For instance, merely predicting the virtual trajectory of a billiard ball shot by the player, even if highly accurate, fails to solve a technical problem beyond its implementation. In contrast, adjusting the step sizes used in the distributed simulation of bullets fired in a multi-player online game based on current network latencies produces a technical effect.”

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