The questions referred to the Enlarged Board of Appeal were answered as follows: 1. A claimed imaging method, in which, when carried out, maintaining the life and health of the subject is important and which comprises or encompasses an invasive step representing a substantial physical intervention on the body which requires professional medical expertise to…

A second medical use claim can be based on a novel dosage regimen. In decision T317/95 a Board of Appeal decided that this type of claim was not allowable. It regarded the activity of administrating a medicine as a therapeutic treatment and, hence, an activity in a field excluded from patentability. Since the patent right…

One of the most disputed topics within the patent community is whether or not the patent prosecution history should be taken into account when interpreting the scope of protection of the claims. Whereas U.S. Courts have traditionally accepted the so-called “file-wrapper estoppel” or “patent prosecution estoppel” defence, the answer on this side of the Atlantic…

The English Court of Appeal dismissed Novartis’ appeal against the finding of the Patents Court that Novartis’ patent for a sustained release formulation of fluvastatin was invalid for obviousness. The case was unusual because, at first instance, Warren J. had held the patent to be inventive on a conventional analysis but then went on to find it obvious using an acontextual approach. The Court of Appeal discussed the correct approach to the question of obviousness in English law, by reference to both the problem and solution approach developed by the European Patent Office and the established four-step approach developed by the English Courts in Windsurfing v Tabur Marine and Pozzoli v BDMO .

According to the Advocate General Article 9 of the Biotechnology Directive does not limit the scope of protection of patents for biotechnology inventions. Nonetheless protection for DNA sequences as such is excluded.

In its decision rendered on 19 March 2008 the District Court of The Hague referred questions to the European Court of Justice on the interpretation of article 9 of Directive 98/44/EC 0f the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 1998 on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions (“Biotechnology Directive”). In particular the Dutch court wished to know whether article 9 of the Biotechnology Directive should be interpreted as extending the rights conferred by a patent covering a biotechnological invention, or, on the contrary, whether it should be interpreted to limit the proprietor’s right to prevent the exploitation of material containing the patented product (DNA sequence), on the condition that such product still performs its function. The Advocate General in his opinion comes to the conclusion that it is irrefutable that article 9 of the Biotechnology Directive is a rule for the extension of patent protection. However, in his opinion the system put in place by the Biotechnology Directive excludes protection for DNA sequences as such. Such protection is limited “to the situations in which the genetic information is currently performing the functions described in the patent.” But how does this relate to the obligations under the European Patent Convention (EPC)?

This case relates to the opposition against Amazon’s famous ‘one-click’ patent. The Board ruled that what is required for obtaining patent protection for a software-implemented business method is that the software should contribute to a technical effect which goes beyond the mere implementation of the business method itself. The Board held that although computer-implemented business…

In this case the Board ruled that features providing a displayed icon of a three-dimensional appearance have technical character and thus should be considered when assessing inventive step. According to the Board these features specify how the information is displayed and not what is displayed so that these features do not fall under the category…