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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.

 

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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.

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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 [...]

EPO: T 1756/11, European Patent Office (EPO), Board of Appeal, T 1756/11, 14 January 2015

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 took position on third party facts and evidence, the board had to exercise its discretion. In contrast, EPO policy required opposition divisions to take position on the relevance of the third party observations in any case, treating them like late filed submissions.

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

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EPO: R2/14, European Patent Office, Enlarged Board of Appeal, ECLI:EP:BA:2015:R000214.20150217, 17 February 2015

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 the new circumstances it remained for the chairman to judge in each individual case to preserve a balance between his potentially conflicting judicial duties and his duties as vice-president of the EPO. Until proven otherwise, the chairman was presumed thus to avoid partiality.

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

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