The search for a successor of Benoît Battistelli as president of the European Patent Organisation has started in full with the publication of a vacancy notice on the EPO website. It is obvious from the text that the controversial Battistelli, whose term in office ends in June 2018, has no chances to stay on. According…

The European Patent Office amends its Regulations in order to exclude from patentability plants and animals exclusively obtained by an essentially biological breeding process. The decision, during the 152st meeting of the Administrative Council of the EPO, came after years of discussion and decisions to the contrary by the Enlarged Board of Appeal in the so-called Broccoli-II…

Chairman Alexander Ramsay of the Preparatory Committee of the Unified Patent Court regrets that a constitutional complaint has led to the suspension of the German ratification process of the UPC Agreement. In a message which was published on the committee’s website today, Ramsay states: ‘In Germany another layer of complexity has been added due to…

Germany has unfortunately no Fordham conference where an impressive number of eminent IP scholars, judges and practitioners, including even representatives of the EPO, get together once every year to discuss the state of the patent universe and future developments. However, Germany does luckily at least have its Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition in…

A new president of the European Patent Organisation, the person who will succeed the controversial president Benoît Battistelli in June 2018, will be chosen this autumn. That is the expectation of Martijn van Dam, Dutch secretary of state for Economic Affairs. Van Dam said this in a debate last week with parliament on the ‘deteriorating…

The SUEPO, the biggest trade union at the European Patent Organisation, filed a complaint against The Netherlands before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on 8 May 2017. According to the SUEPO, as host to one of the main offices of the European Patent Office, The Netherlands should have acted to end the breach…

An EPO board of appeal expressed its opinion that EBA case law implied that no further use should be made of the three-part “essentiality test” of T 331/87, for deciding whether removal of a feature from a claim complies with article 123(2) EPC. The only test endorsed by the EBA was the “gold standard”. The…

A board of appeal of the European patent office held that a decision to reject an opposition with grounds based on an improperly corrected version of the patent as granted maintains the text used in the decision to grant, without the corrections. A decision of the examining division to correct the text after grant by…

The enlarged board of appeal (EBA) of the European patent office effectively ended the possibility of poisonous priority. The EBA held that entitlement to partial priority may not be refused for a claim encompassing alternative subject-matter by virtue of generic expressions (generic “OR” claims) if the priority document discloses part of that subject matter in…

The duration of proceedings before the Boards of Appeal (BoA) currently is the EPO’s biggest problem in regard to speed. According to the latest Annual Report by the Boards of Appeal, the average length of inter partes proceedings is 37 months (up 1 month from 2015), i.e. more than three years. In 2016, two appeals…