Use of Functional Claim Elements for Patenting Computer Programs
Journal of High Technology Law, Vol. 12, pp. 168, 2011
63 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2012
Date Written: 2011
Computer programs can be patented by claiming their underlying algorithms. One possibility to claim algorithms is to use functional claim elements. Different from structural claim elements, functional claim elements do not define inventions in terms of what they are, but rather in terms of what they do. This article will discuss the use of functional claim elements for patenting computer programs embedding it in a discussion of functional claiming in general. After a short introduction covering the historical development towards the present legal situation (Part I), an element-for-element analysis of the current black letter law is presented (Parts II-VII), which will be wrapped up in a final summary (Part VIII).
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