28 April 2022
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IP protection for software. It’s complicated…but we can help.

For a fixed fee, Mewburn Ellis can provide you with an opinion as to the likelihood that a proposed European patent filing relating to software will encounter problematic patent eligibility objections at the EPO.

Why is patent eligibility important to software inventions?

Patent applications for inventions relating to software can sometimes run into problematic patent eligibility objections at the EPO. By using this fixed-fee opinion service, it is possible to get a considered view on whether a proposed European patent filing will encounter such an objection, prior to incurring the significant costs associated with filing a European patent application.

What does an opinion look like?

Our service has been designed to provide you with a reasoned opinion that places the proposed European patent application into one of the following categories:

(A): Low probability of encountering a problematic patent eligibility objection* at the EPO

(B): Medium probability of encountering a problematic patent eligibility objection at the EPO

(C): High probability of encountering a problematic* patent eligibility objection at the EPO

*By a “problematic” patent eligibility objection, we mean a patent eligibility objection that will likely be a serious obstacle to getting patent protection for a core concept underlying the claimed invention.

What is the benefit?

Benefits of obtaining a patent eligibility opinion using this service may include:
  • Identifying patent eligibility obstacles prior to incurring filing costs
  • If the application has not yet been filed, providing a springboard for further drafting work to emphasise technical character
  • Informing decision making about future applications

How much does it cost?

Our flat fee for providing this service is USD 600 per application. We can also charge a corresponding fee in GBP or EUR.

How to proceed?

For existing clients of Mewburn Ellis, all you need to do is email to your usual Mewburn attorney with a publication number of the patent application on which you would like an opinion (or if the application is not published, then the text and drawings for the application). We will aim to issue the opinion in 5 working days.

If you are not yet a client, then please complete our on-line form and we'll be in touch to explain next steps.


Software Inventions: UKIPO and EPO approaches to patent eligibility

It is well-known that it can be challenging to obtain patent protection for inventions relating to software in Europe. Indeed, it is common for software developers to assume that European patent protection is not available for their innovations

In our report we take a close look at whether the European Patent Office (“EPO”) and the UK Intellectual Property Office (“UKIPO”) handle software inventions differently. We also reveal some strategic insights that we think will be of benefit to companies seeking patent protection for software inventions in the UK and Europe.

Download the Report

James is a Partner and Patent Attorney at Mewburn Ellis. He has a wide range of experience in patent drafting and prosecution at both the European Patent Office (EPO) and UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) across a variety of industry sectors. James has particular expertise in the patentability of software and business-related inventions in Europe.

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Our IP specialists work at all stage of the IP life cycle and provide strategic advice about patent, trade mark and registered designs, as well as any IP-related disputes and legal and commercial requirements.


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