3.9 Claims directed to computer-implemented inventions
The expression "computer-implemented inventions" (CII) covers claims which involve computers, computer networks or other programmable apparatus, whereby at least one feature is realised by means of a program.
Claims directed to CII should define all the features which are essential for the technical effect of the process which the computer program is intended to carry out when it is run (see F‑IV, 4.5.2, last sentence). An objection under Art. 84 may arise if the claims contain program listings. Short excerpts from programs may be accepted in the description (see F‑II, 4.12).
In the following three sections, a distinction is made between three situations. The practice defined in F‑IV, 3.9.1 is confined to inventions in which all the method steps can be carried out by generic data processing means. F‑IV, 3.9.2, on the other hand, relates to inventions in which at least one method step defines the use of specific data processing means or other technical devices. Inventions that are realised in a distributed computing environment are discussed in F‑IV, 3.9.3.