Although it did not admit a broader claim 1, an EPO board of appeal allowed an auxiliary request wherein claim 1 as granted was replaced by a combination of independent claims from different first instance requests. This combination was admitted because the first instance department had had the opportunity to decide on both claims in…

Will 2017 be the year that the Unitary Patent system sees the light of day? A year ago the general expectation was for the system to fully launch this spring, with a provisional period starting late 2016. After the Brexit vote considerable delays were expected, but an announcement by the UK government late November led…

Not surprisingly the Brexit and its consequences for the Unitary Patent system, but also the continuing social unrest at the European Patent Office were among the most popular topics on the Kluwer Patent Blog in 2016. One item in our top ten has a title which can be used again this year without any problem:…

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…