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Where is the EPC provision which would allegedly allow the EPO to “grant” a patent with a different text for Contracting States that entered reservations in accordance with Art. 167(2)(a)?

Article 118 of the EPC (entitled “Unity of the European patent application or European patent”) states that:

“[...] the text of the application or patent shall be uniform for all designated Contracting States, unless this Convention provides otherwise.

Like other Articles such as Article 2.2, 14.3, 43.1, 130.1 or 148.1, Article 118 follows the logic consisting of setting out general principles which can only be abandoned (“carved out”) if another provision of the Convention provides “otherwise.” It is a technique widely used in all international treaties.

If the reader takes the time to carefully review the provisions of the EPC and its Implementing Regulations (“IR”), which according to A [...]

The Difficult Interface between Opposition Proceedings before the EPO and parallel national proceedings: will the new Spanish Patent Act shed some light?

One of the tricky consequences of Article 64 of the European Patent Convention (“EPC”), which establishes that the European patent is immediately enforceable after its publication, and Article 99, which provides for “post-grant” oppositions, is that quite often the combination of these two articles fuels two trains that run in parallel where the validity of the patent is revisited. Since the EPC does not contain any provision addressing this situation, this leaves it up to the national laws of contracting parties to the EPC to devise a solution.

In contrast, the Community Trademark Regulation, for example, establishes that a Community trademark court hearing one of the actions envisaged in [...]

EPO: J12/14, European Patent Office, Board of Appeal, 27 March 2015

The board refused to apply Rule 56 EPC (filing missing drawings) to allow replacement of a poor quality drawing in a patent application by a drawing from the priority document. Although J2/12 had allowed replacement under Rule 56 in the case that it could be established that wrong drawings were filed, this applied only to errors as to the identity of the drawings and it did not extend to the case that the correct drawings had been filed with poor visual quality.

A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law.


The Netherlands: A v. Arca, District Court of The Hague, C/09/466982, 4 February 2015

Competence of the Dutch courts is determined solely based on facts furnished by plaintiff. Jurisdiction for patent entitlement claims is governed by the Protocol on Recognition to the EPC, not by the Brussels I Regulation.

A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law.

Finally, More Clarity from the Boards of Appeal of the EPO

No, not what you might perhaps have hoped for. A lot is currently ongoing at the European Patent Office about the status, the independence, the future location and the (self-)administration of the EPO’s Boards of Appeal, but this blogger is neither sufficiently well-informed nor competent to comment on the big picture. So let’s stick to our guns and praise Board of Appeal 3.3.07 for a little ex-parte appeal decision (T 1882/12) that combines clarity with common sense in an admirable fashion.

The decision relates to a problem that many patent practitioners have been encountering for a number of years. Rule 162 EPC along with the EPO’s Rules relating to Fees definitely discourage applicants fr [...]

Germany: The provision of information as a technical teaching? (Federal Court of Justice, “Bildstrom”)

The German Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Court of Justice, FCJ) has issued the decision “Bildstrom” (judgment of 26 February 2015, docket no. X ZR 37/13) dealing with the patentability of a system and a method for displaying an image stream.

The attacked patent EP 1474927 concerns a technical teaching for displaying an image stream, wherein at least two subset image streams are displayed simultaneously and the subset image streams are created from one original image stream. The original image stream may for example be recorded by a swallowable capsule and two subset image streams may e.g. show every second frame of the original image stream in original speed so that each frame is displayed [...]

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