In a decision to refund an additional search fee, an EPO board rejected a determination of non-unity based on a priori technical differences, which determined different problems solved by different dependent claims without determining patentability with respect to the available prior art found for the independent claim. Instead, lack of unity should be decided based…

A board of appeal of the European Patent Office held that a conditional request for oral proceedings filed with a notice of opposition remains effective after appeal and remittal to the opposition division, even when the party fails to restate the request in response to an invitation for requests by the opposition division after the remittal….

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…

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…

A panel of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) of the EPO rejected a request to replace the EBA chairman for suspected partiality. The reasons for allowing such a request in decision R19/12 had since been removed because the chairman had discontinued all his managerial activities in the senior management committees of the EPO. Under…

During examination poor quality drawings had been replaced by drawings that made more details visible. The opponent argued that replacement of these drawings by the original drawings, to overcome Article 123(2) objections, extended the scope of protection (Article 123(3)). The board concluded that the skilled person remained clearly able to determine what was protected, because…