Patenting Advanced Search Engines of Multimedia Databases

H. Sasaki and Y. Kiyoki (Japan)


Patent Law, Information Technology, Search Engines, Process Patents.


The Court in State Street affirmed that the processes or methods are patentable subject matter as computer-related programs. The patent ability has received attention at the requirements of non obviousness and enablement in patent law. Inventors and practitioners, especially, those in the arts of advanced search engines of multimedia databases, demand the formulation of the conditions for patenting those processes. The advanced search engines are based on content-based retrieval that indexes the extracted features of data (e.g., images) and that classifies the indexes to perform retrieval functions. The processes for content based retrieval consist of combinations of the prior disclosed means and comprise the means for parameter set tings that are adjusted to retrieve a specific kind of the data (e.g., images) at a certain narrow domain. In this paper, we formulate the conditions of patentability on those processes from the practical standpoints of technical advance ment (nonobviousness) on combinations of the prior disclosed means and specification (enablement) on the means for parameter settings.

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