The European Patent Office and representatives of the 38 Member States organised a meeting last week of the Committee on Patent Law to discuss next steps following decision T 1063/18 of an EPO Board of Appeal on plant patentability. Representatives of the European Commission were present as observer. In its landmark decision of 5 December 2018,…

Visser’s Annotated Patent Convention, the 2018 Edition, previously known as the Annotated European Patent Convention, was published on 15 December 2018. The new 2018 edition of this preeminent work – the only regularly updated authoritative article-by-article commentary in English on the European Patent Convention (EPC), its implementing regulations, and associated case law – provides the complete text of the…

The EPO’s Problem-Solution-Approach is, on the face of it, simple and widely applied also in the national jurisprudence of the EPC member states. It starts with the determination of a “closest prior art document” (CPAD) which is to serve as the starting point of the further analysis. It is then evaluated which technical differences exist…

The much awaited decision T 1063/18 by Technical Board of Appeal 3.3.04 in a five-member composition has been published today. The patent application under appeal related to new pepper plants and fruits with improved nutritional value, and the decision did indeed turn out to be quite peppery, at least in regard to the EPO Administrative…

The European Patent Office (EPO) is receiving ever increasing numbers of patent applications that include a ‘programmed computer’ as a key part of the described invention.  Moreover, this growth in filings is being seen in technical fields that are not traditionally considered to be computer-centric.  For example, according to EPO statistics, 40% of new patent…

The European Patent Office ‘will consider possible next actions’ together with the EPO Member States after a high-profile decision of a Board of Appeal earlier this week, concerning the patentability of plants. In case T 1063/18, the BoA decided that EPC Rules which were introduced by the EPO Administrative Council in 2017 to exclude plants…

by Adam Lacy and Thorsten Bausch As European patent professionals are all too aware, the Boards of Appeal of the EPO (BOA) have a huge amount of power, particularly over the rights of patentees. In EPO opposition proceedings, the BOA have the final say on whether to revoke a patent across all of the EPC…

Plants which are produced according to essentially biological processes need to be held patentable, despite EPO Guidelines which were introduced in 2017 to exclude them from patentability. The EPO Board of Appeal came to this remarkable decision earlier today in case T 1063/18. By Frits Michiels and Bart van Wezenbeek Those who thought that the…

Setting the record straight concerning the right to dependent claims under the EPC by Thomas Wyder and Stephan Steinmüller (Hoffmann Eitle) EPO Examiners sometimes urge Applicants to delete dependent claims considered to relate to “unsearched subject-matter” after having raised a unity a posteriori objection. We are investigating in how far the EPC justifies forcing an…