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Dr Clara Neppel

Speaker Photograph of Clara Neppel

Dr. Clara Neppel works at the Munich branch of the European Patent Office as an examiner in the field of computer implemented inventions and methods for doing business. Dr. Neppel has presented at a number of conferences the current practice of the Patent Office in this field.

Before joining the Office she worked for many years as a researcher in the area of parallel database optimisation and in the field of archiving solutions for SAP-based systems.

She holds a PhD in Computer Science from the Technische Universität München and an MSc in Computer Science from the University of Timisoara, Romania.

Clara is of German nationality and of Hungarian/Romanian origin. She is married with 2 children.


The requirements of the European Patent Convention as concerns the patentability of methods for doing business are investigated. The relevant Articles and Rules are looked at and it is sketched how these are interpreted, taking into account relevant decisions of the Boards of Appeal.

It is shown how this translates into the everyday life of a patent examiner in the field of 'business methods'. The pragmatic approach currently in use at the EPO consists of two steps: At first the patentability is checked and then it is established whether the invention as claimed shows an inventive step. For both parts the concept of 'technicality' plays an important role.

Examples are given which clarify the presented points.

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