The Court of Appeal discusses and builds on its previous case law on patentability regarding the issue of whether the subject matter is considered a technical invention. The Court emphasizes that it is sufficient if only part of the patented teaching concerns a technical problem. However,  as the next step it has to be determined…

A method claim comprising a step of “providing a donor flow channel for conveying fluid to and from a donor” was found to be excluded from patentability as treatment by surgery and therapy. The Board derived from the description that this step required performing venipuncture and found that venipuncture required professional medical expertise to be…

Faced with a claim directed at a method for determining airway pressure levels, the Board isolated a step from the claim that required changing the airway pressure of an artificial ventilator to observe certain responses. The Board found that this step could not be distinguished from what a medical doctor would do in order to…

The patent concerned claims a method of cooling animals characterized in that the animals are cooled in a milking stall so that the animals go to the milking stall spontaneously. The patentee added a disclaimer of therapeutic use. The claim covered only carrying out the invention on animals that are neither in a pathological state…

On 10 March, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) issued its long-awaited opinion on the patentability of human embryonic stem cells in Brüstle v Greenpeace C-34/10. Biotechnological inventions are subject to Directive 98/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions (the “Directive”). Article 6(1)…

In a judgment issued on September 28, 2010, the Court of First Instance of Paris held that a dosage regime is effectively a method of treatment and is, as such, excluded from patentability in view of Article 53c of EPC 2000. In this particular case, the use of finasteride for the treatment of androgenic alopecia…

By a judgement dated 28 September 2010, the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Paris held that claims 1, 2 and 3 of the French designation of Merck & Co. Ltd’s Patent EP 0 724 444 were invalid for being excluded from the scope of patentability in accordance with the provisions of Article 53(c) EPC 2000 (former Article 52  (4) EPC 1973). The court held that the invention the subject-matter of main claim 1 was only a new dosage regime ranging from 0.05 to 1 mg) of an already known compound (finasteride) in an already known therapeutic application (the treatment of hyperandrogenic conditions and especially the treatment of androgenic alopecia). A mere new dosage regime is not a second medical use but a therapeutic method excluded from patentability pursuant to Article 53  (c) EPC 2000.

In this decision the EBoA held that sexually crossing of plants is an ‘essential biological process’ within the meaning of Art. 53(b) EPC. Any claim that contains a step of sexually crossing therefore falls within the exception to patentability, whether or not additional technical measures (e.g. selecting) would be present. Only if a claim relates…

SK Telecom filed a patent application for a system and method for financial transactions, wherein a user was allowed to load money in his account on a host computer. The examining division refused to grant a patent for lack of inventive step as the invention related to a straightforward technical implementation of an administrative banking…