Some Late Summer Thoughts about Molten Polymers and two Decisions by the German Federal Court of Justice Now that the unusual heat of this summer in central Europe finally seems to have ended, it might be a good point in time to activate our cerebral bio-polymers again. So let us muse about the melting of…

The judgement “Schleifprodukt” rendered by the German Federal Court of Justice on 25 November 2014 could be seen as a step towards harmonisation with the EPO because the court carried out the test for the admissibility of claim amendments by assessing whether the feature combination of the amended claim in its entirety represents a technical teaching which is identifiable from the original application as being suitable for achieving the effects of the invention.

The recent decision T 1843/09 clarifies that the exception to the prohibition of reformatio in peius set out in G 1/99 in order to overcome an objection under Article 123(2) EPC is not the only exception. According to the Technical Board of Appeal, exceptions to this principle are a matter of equity in order to protect a non-appealing Proprietor against procedural discrimination in circumstances where the prohibition of reformatio in peius would impair the legitimate defence of its patent.

The Board observed that it could not be understood that the “technical relevance” criterion, proposed by another board in T 1906/11 for judging extension of subject matter, defines a new standard for judging amendments with respect to Article 123(2) in the case of intermediate generalizations. Instead, the Board had to decide whether the technical information…

An amendment of independent patent claim 1 during prosecution introduced a new feature. According to the Examining Division this led to the combinations of features of dependent claims 2-4 to extend beyond the disclosure of the application as filed (Art. 123(2) EPC). The Board of Appeal held that the focus of the Examining Division was…

The main principles applicable for assessing whether a non-disclosed disclaimer meets the requirements of Article 123(2) EPC have been laid out in the decision G 1/03 of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) of the EPO. In the recent decision G 2/10 dated September 19, 2011 a new test for assessing the allowability of non-disclosed disclaimers, the so called “Remaining Subject-Matter Test”, has been established. In applying this test, disclaimers which in the past would have been considered to be allowable in view of G 1/03 may now be (and actually have been)found to actually be in violation of Article 123(2) EPC.

The Court held that a decision by the EPO relating to the UK designation was not capable of challenge. In any event, the procedure chosen by the claimant to challenge the decision (an application to correct the UKIPO register based on Rule 50 of the Patents Rules 2007) was wrong, because it required the consent…