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Let's say we are drafting a claim set comprises computer implemented method claim, device claim (for executing method like processing unit), a program claim and a computer readable medium claim. (The claim set is for EPO)

Is it allowable draft a claim which includes above-mentioned device and at least another element like sensor?

Note: Main technical effect of the first and second unit is the same.

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  • Why not make it a dependent claim if it includes all elements of the claim ? I assume the device is something, that when initiated, executes the method.
    – George White
    Commented Nov 23, 2022 at 8:04
  • Actually that's the answer for my question. My claims are a method, a proccessing unit (executes method), a wearable device with the processing unit and sensors (best embodiment) and a program (of method) and a computer readable medium (contain the program). If I understood you correctly, this set is allowable?
    – ASA
    Commented Nov 23, 2022 at 8:16

1 Answer 1

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First of all, in your question you stated, that you would like to claim:

  • "a computer implemented method"
  • "a device (for executing method like processing unit)"
  • "a program"
  • "a computer readable medium".

Referring to Part F Chapter IV - 3.9 of the book "Guidelines for Examination in the European Patent Office", the claims seems to cover the same computer-implemented invention/method.


Let me explain computer-implemented methods first.

Computer-implemented methods are different from a computer program. A computer program refers to a sequence of computer-executable instructions specifying a method while the computer-implemented method refers to a method being actually performed on a computer.

Art.52(2),(3) explicitly declares that computer programs, as such, shall not be regarded as invention. Similar to "schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, playing games or doing business" they are missing a technical character.

On the other hand, claims directed to a computer-implemented method, having a computer-readable storage medium or running on any device cannot be objected to under Art. 52(2) and (3) as the method involves the use of technical means (e.g. a computer) and/or the technical means itself (e.g. a computer or a computer-readable storage medium). Having a technical character represents an invention within the meaning of Art. 52(1).

The computer-implemented method claim must produce a further technical effect, as the claim shall comply with the requirements of Art. 54 (Novelty), Art. 56 (Inventive step) and the inherited technical means (e.g. computer) is already know. The further technical effect is inherited from a previously claimed method. That said, if the method gets granted , the computer-implemented method will be granted as well.

Examples for computer-implemented method claims can be found under Part F Chapter IV - 3.9 of the book "Guidelines for Examination in the European Patent Office".


That said it is advised to have only the following independent claims:

  1. A device X for Y, comprising A, B, C.
  2. A method Z, having the steps of M, N, O.
  3. A computer-readable storage medium comprising instructions which, when executed by a computer, cause the computer to carry out the method Z according to claim 2.

Also, keep in mind, that only in a few special is allowed to have more than one independent claim in the same category (product, process, apparatus or use), see Rule 43(2).


To answer your original question:

Is it allowable draft a claim which includes above-mentioned device and at least another element like sensor?

You have to decide upon the essentiality of the "at least another element".

If the element is essential for the functionality of your device, the element itself shall be included in the independent device claim, while the use of the element shall be included in the independent method claim. The computer-implemented method claim shall be according to Part F Chapter IV - 3.9.2.

If the element is not essential for the functionality of your device, the element itself may be included in a claim depending on the device, while the use of the element may be included in a claim depending on the method claim. The computer-implemented method claim remains according toPart F Chapter IV - 3.9.1, but may refer to any of the methods claimed.

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