The Notional Business Person – A New Actor on the IP Stage?
In two Decisions published on 27 April 2017, EPO Technical Board of Appeal 3.5.01 has given valuable guidance on the treatment of inventions that implement business methods and given rare positive verdicts on two related applications. In the process, the Board has introduced the "notional business person" whose hypothetical actions need to be considered alongside the venerable "person skilled in the [technical] art".
The two decisions are T 1463/11 (Universal merchant platform/CardinalCommerce) and T 1658/15 (Universal merchant platform II/CardinalCommerce). The cases concerned a parent and a divisional, both of which were rejected by the Examining Division as uninventive. Both inventions relate to eâ€‘commerce.
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