As was rightly noted on this blog, the skilled person’s “hope” of solving the objective technical problem using the means that led to the (later claimed) invention, has disappeared from the Guidelines for Examination. What we are left with is the (perhaps) more objective “expectation of some improvement or advantage (see T/83)”. Interestingly, this expectation…

One of the key questions in the assessment of inventive step within the EPO is whether or not the skilled person will adapt or modify the teaching of the closest prior art and arrive at the invention. The EPO answers this question using the so-called could-would approach developed in the early decision T2/83 of a…

This decision is certainly worth reading if you deal with inventive step objections of the form “abstract algorithm implemented on a generic computer” or the like. The Board of Appeal provides a helpful review of case law, and pushes back the frequent assumption that improved algorithms cannot give a technical effect. This decision could well…

As the clock strikes midnight on 31 December 2019, we hope that the new Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal (RPBA) will not be the first thing on our minds. Nevertheless, the beginning of this new decade will mark the entry into force of these new rules, which look set to have a…

The European Patent Office has today published an advance preview of its annual update to the Guidelines for Examination which will come into force on 1 November 2019. This year, there have been some tweaks to sections on how novelty, inventive step and clarity are assessed. The updates also add detail to discussions on formalities…

By Thomas Becher, German and European Patent Attorney, Hoffmann Eitle From a first read, Decision T 1731/12 may have a tremendous impact on the patenting of medical devices at the European patent office. The EPO itself seems to attach quite some importance to the decision because it has provided an official headnote which serves to summarize…

One of the worst nightmares or, in a few cases, real events in a patent professional’s life is when he/she realizes that an important term has inadvertently been missed and the usual means of term extension are no longer available. What then? Will the hardship of the applicable European or national statute inevitably hit you?…

Late in 2018, Board 3.5.07 issued two decisions on appeals from Examining Division decisions, in which the length of the examination procedure was excessive.  The Board decided that such delays can amount to a substantial procedural violation, but that it is only equitable to reimburse the appeal fee if the applicant took some proactive measures…