The Board of Appeal found that the examining division had committed a substantial procedural violation by raising tentative patentability objections rather than completing an improperly justified incomplete search. Thus tentative examination had improperly been used as a condition for completing the search, rather than completing the search first and examining later. This forced the applicant…

The parliament in the Netherlands will hold a debate on the ‘deteriorating social situation’ at the European Patent Office. The recent dismissal of a SUEPO trade union leader in The Hague was one of the issues triggering a request for the debate. MP Sharon Gesthuizen of the socialist SP received support for her request from…

An EPO board of appeal decided that it had the discretion to admit a late filed document, even though the opposition division had exercised its discretion not to admit the document. In this respect the board diverged from T 2102/08. The board held that it may be confronted with additional facts (submissions) and different circumstances…

1. History One of the most precious achievements that Europe inherited from England is the so-called Rule of Law, dating back from the days of James I who ruled the union of the Scottish and English crowns from 1603 until his death in 1625. The key parts of this model is that laws are made…

An EPO board held that, during opposition proceedings, copies of complaints about file specific issues sent by a party to EPO departments other than the opposition division, as well as the responses to these complaints, should be sent to the other party. The other party also needs to be notified of complaints about the work…

One of the possible methods to examine incentive activity is what is known as the “problem and solution approach” usually applied by the European Patent Office (“EPO”). Spanish Courts like this methodology, as it allows the Judge to subject the opinions expressed by the experts to an objective test. For example, in a judgment of…

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

President Benoit Battistelli of the European Patent Office hopes the United Kingdom will stay in the Unitary Patent system despite the Brexit vote of 23 June 2016. He has written this in a blogpost on the EPO website. Battistelli stresses ‘it is entirely up to the UK authorities to determine whether they want to participate…

Today, the 4th annual conference of Premier Cercle regarding the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court took place in Munich. It will be no surprise that the outcome of the UK referendum was the “elephant in the room” during the conference. Nevertheless, everybody in the room agreed that the UK political situation may and…