The EPO has published a brochure on software patents which should make any linguist laugh:
Software vs computer-implemented inventions
Relying on a well-known and widely used definition, a computer-implemented invention is an invention whose implementation involves the use of a computer, computer network or other programmable apparatus, the invention having one or more features which are realised wholly or partly by means of a computer program. The term software, on the other hand, is ambiguous. It is generally understood as the implementation of an algorithm in source or object code, but without distinguishing between technical and non-technical processes.
As with all inventions, computer-implemented inventions are patentable only if they have technical character, i.e. solve a technical problem, are new and involve an inventive technical contribution to the prior art.
The EPO continues to define technical by technical. This is like the free gift tautology:
"free gift" is tautologous because a gift, by definition, is something given without charge.
The EPO continues to claim they do not grant any patent on Internet retailing, which is a lie since they were granting the brother of the Amazon one-click patent "Buy on a website and send the item as a gift":
Other processes, such as Internet retailing, though involving the use of a computer, are not patentable in Europe, whereas such processes are often patented in the USA.
To quote the preliminary decision of the FFII vs Amazon appeal, which indicates that the presence of a computer makes the thing patentable:
In the present case, at least a computer system is included in the granted subject matter.
The EPO recognises also that they are computer illiterates:
Nor is it the policy of the EPO to require or examine source codes
The EPO continues to say it is impossible to examine source code:
Moreover, given the length and complexity of source code listings, which can often stretch to hundreds of pages, it would be quite impossible to examine them.
The EPO like to spread its propaganda to EU decision makers that it grants high quality patents:
European patents: high quality and high legal certainty
Nevertheless, their high quality propaganda falls down once you start to mention some trivial software patents, such as the progress bar:
or the contextual menu granted to Philips:
or the transfer of emails with attachements, and voicemail:
For the SME question, the message of SMEs spread by Economic-majority and the litigation and blackmail issues generated by software patents has not yet reached the ears of the EPO:
Patents and small businesses
Anybody can apply for a patent under the EPC, which makes no distinction between individuals, SMEs or big companies. Greater access to resources and to information naturally means that costs become more affordable. However, that applies to the acquisition of any asset or to entry into any procedure, and is not especially linked to the patenting process. Moreover, there is little evidence to suggest that SMEs do not benefit from patents: indeed, for innovative SMEs and start-ups without sufficient financial resources and a large market share, patents are often the only chance to stand their ground in competition.
As you can see, the propaganda of the EPO does not even speak about litigation.
Someone should ask them politely to remove this propaganda text from their website.
The EPO is there to execute, not to make propaganda or political decisions.