Tag Archives: European Patent Office

New EPO Rules For Patenting Plants and Animals

Author: Hazel Ford Ph.D.
Editor:  Martin D. Hyden

The EPO has clarified its approach to the patentability of plants and animals by making changes to its rules.

Article 53(b) EPC derives from an EU Directive (Article 4(1) of Directive 98/44 EC) and excludes from patentability “essentially biological processes for the production of plants or animals”.  According to the EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeal, this excludes from patentability any process that contains the steps of sexually crossing the whole genomes of plants and then selecting the desired progeny plants.  However, the Enlarged Board concluded in decisions G 2/12 and G 2/13 that the exclusion only applies to process claims, and not to the plants that are produced by those processes.  Until recently, the EPO had followed this practice during examination and in post-grant oppositions. Continue reading

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The Essentiality Test – Falling Out of Favour at the EPO?

Author: Katherine Banks Ph.D.
Editor:  Hazel Ford Ph.D.

The European Patent Office (EPO) has a notoriously strict approach when considering amendments to patent applications.  If an amendment extends the subject matter beyond the content of the application as filed, then the amendment is unallowable under Article 123(2) EPC.  This is assessed based on the “gold standard” test, which examines whether the skilled person would regard the amended subject-matter to be directly and unambiguously derivable from the application as originally filed.  Continue reading

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The Short-Lived Ailment of Poisonous Divisionals

The Short-Lived Ailment of Poisonous Divisionals

Author: Leythem A. Wall
Editor: Eric P. Raciti and J. Derek McCorquindale

After four years of the European Patent Office (EPO) ruling that a parent application can lack novelty over its divisional application, and vice versa, the EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) in their decision G1/15 has finally put an end to this familicidal practice. Continue reading

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Unpacking the EU Patent Package: The Unified Patent Court

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Unpacking the EU Patent Package: The Unified Patent Court

Author: Paul Roscoe
Editor: Leythem A. Wall

Our previous blog post in this series focused on the European patent with unitary effect (UP). Here, we take a look at the Unified Patent Court (UPC), the other element of the Unitary Patent System (UPS).

The UPC will be a single court system for centrally enforcing and challenging classical European patents (EPs) and UPs. A single action brought before the UPC will result in a single decision that can have effect in all EU states that have ratified the UPC Agreement, as opposed to the current national court system where single decisions only have effect in their respective individual states. The UPC therefore aims to remove inconsistency in decisions and lower costs of multi-jurisdictional patent litigation in Europe.

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Unpacking the EU Patent Package: The Unitary Patent

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Unpacking the EU Patent Package: The Unitary Patent

Author: Paul Roscoe
Editor: Leythem A. Wall

The Unitary Patent System (UPS) and the Unified Patent Court (UPC) are on the horizon. Expected to come into force in 2017, this will be the biggest change for 40 years in European patent practice and will directly affect all current and future European patents and applications.

The European Patent Office (EPO) is responsible for the examination and grant of ‘classical’ European patents under the European Patent Convention (EPC). A classical European patent acts as a ‘bundle’ of national patents, which are locally enforceable by the Courts of a contracting state, subject to validation in that state.

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