In an appeal from an opposition decision that maintained the patent, an EPO board refused to admit an auxiliary request that had been filed by the proprietor during opposition and formally re-entered with the initial response to the grounds of appeal. Other than implicitly through arguments about the main request, the response failed to take…

The enlarged board of appeal of the European patent office allowed a petition for review of a board decision because the right to be heard had been denied. The decisive ground for the decision under review involved a new conclusion from a document that was in the proceedings. This conclusion could not be directly derived…

An EPO board held that an appellant in a cross-appeal can be bound by an analogy of the bar against reformatio in peius, when filing a request later than with the grounds of appeal. When the appellant could have filed the request with the grounds of appeal, but filed the request only in response to…

An EPO board held that observations filed by third parties during inter parte appeal must be disregarded by the board, unless they concern amendments during opposition or appeal, in which case the board had discretion whether or not to consider the observations in the examination of the amendments. Also when a party to the appeal…

The Board of Appeal rejected an attempt to apply the fiction of novelty of “medical” substances and compositions of article 54(5) EPC to a dialysis membrane. Contrary to T2003/08 the claimed dialysis membrane did not contain any further substance that might constitute an active ingredient. With reference to arguments in T2003/08, the board noted that…

The Board emphasized that there was a relation between who was to be considered to be the skilled person for judging inventive step on one hand and the choice of the closest prior art on the other hand. A general problem to modify a product from one field so that it could be used in…

Inventions regarding a method of improving the yield of triploid seedless watermelons by pollination with a specific type of diploid water melon are not to be regarded as an essentially biological process for the production of plants and are therefore not excluded from patentability under Article 53(b) EPC. These biotechnological inventions according to Rule 26(2),…

The recent decision T 1843/09 clarifies that the exception to the prohibition of reformatio in peius set out in G 1/99 in order to overcome an objection under Article 123(2) EPC is not the only exception. According to the Technical Board of Appeal, exceptions to this principle are a matter of equity in order to protect a non-appealing Proprietor against procedural discrimination in circumstances where the prohibition of reformatio in peius would impair the legitimate defence of its patent.

The board held that a document of speculative nature could not objectively be considered as a realistic starting point or the most promising springboard towards the claimed invention: the document was no more than a speculative review of what might be potentially feasible in the future and no concrete realization of the claimed type of…