Published on : 2017-05-27 02:54:03

 bearing in mind that this type of amendment can in many cases give rise to an “added matter” objection under article 123 epc, patent proprietors should exercise caution when considering such an amendment.   the questions referred noting two competing and contradictory lines of jurisprudence in previous decisions, the board in t 373/12 referred four questions to the enlarged board.     a product according to claim 1 wherein the amount of x comprised in the product is substantial. In doing so, the board noted that “it is not optimal that there may be granted claims, even after amendment, which do not comply with article 84 epc but it cannot be ignored that the legislator has deliberately chosen not to make article 84 epc a ground for opposition. ” at first sight this seems to raise the question of when an amendment may be said to “introduce” non-compliance with article 84, i. ”  for this type of amendment it therefore seems that a careful assessment will have to be made on a case-by-case basis as to whether or not the removal of the feature from its original context “introduces” a lack of clarity. If  a patent is amended during opposition proceedings, the opposition division must, under article 101(3) epc, determine whether the amended claims “meet the requirements” of the epc.     a product according to claim 1, comprising also a substantial amount of either y or [preferably] z invalidating a european patent. Conclusions the enlarged board concluded that type a(i) and type b amendments, as well as amendments involving the deletion of wording from a claim leaving intact a pre-existing lack of clarity, should be considered closed to renewed examination on grounds of clarity. These questions became relevant in technical board of appeal case t 373/12, in which the patentee filed an amendment incorporating a feature from a granted dependent claim into a granted independent claim.  however, features which are newly-introduced to the claims – i.  however, according to article 100 epc, third parties cannot use an allegation of lack of clarity as a ground for opposing a european patent at the epo after it has granted. A product comprising x and also a substantial amount of z. These additional amendments were not specifically addressed, as the board considered that any answers applicable to “type a” or “type b” amendments should also apply to these other amendments.

 at over 90 pages in length, the decision is not the easiest to digest, and contains a number of aspects which are likely to provoke further discussion. The enlarged board gave the following example, using the term “substantial” as an unclear feature: granted claims: 1 invalidating a european patent. “type b” amendments: cases involving a literal insertion of a complete dependent claim (or claims) as granted into an independent claim. However, where the alleged lack of compliance has not been introduced by the amendment, such cases are in substance no different to type b.  if so, are there any limits to the extent of this scrutiny, or to the types of amendments which can be examined for clarity.  this raises the question of whether the clarity of amended claims should be examined in opposition proceedings, as clarity is a requirement of the epc under article 84, even though a lack of clarity cannot be raised as a ground of opposition.  the questions are not repeated here, but can be read in the full text of the decision.   background under article 84 of the european patent convention, the claims of a patent application must be clear.  parties to opposition proceedings should also bear in mind that while a lack of clarity is not a ground of opposition as such, clarity can still be relevant in opposition proceedings to the extent that the effect of a prior art document may depend on the interpretation of an unclear claim.  however, the enlarged board gave a number of examples in the decision which consider several types of claim amendments.  on 24 march 2015 the enlarged board issued its decision, which can be read here. Alexander robinson, technical assistantexamination of clarity in epo opposition proceedings if a claim is amended during opposition proceedings before the european patent office, can it be scrutinised to check that its meaning is clear. Unhelpfully, no example of such an amendment was given. These questions were the theme underlying the issues referred to the epo’s enlarged board of appeal in case g 3/14.

Examination of clarity in epo opposition proceedings if a claim is amended during opposition proceedings before the european patent office, can it be scrutinised to check that its meaning is clear. The enlarged board’s reasoning the enlarged board held that article 101(3) epc could not be read as allowing complete re-examination of the entirety of the amended patent for compliance with article 84 epc.  if clarity is to be examined, further questions arise: should only the amended feature be examined, or should the claim as a whole be re-examined, including unamended features which were in the claim in its originally-granted form.attractive online dating headline.
.  broadly speaking, however, the decision confirms that amendments based on features present in the claims as originally granted cannot generally be re-examined for clarity during opposition proceedings, even where those features are arguably unclear.  the object and purpose of article 101(3) were not “to open up the patent to a complete re-examination”, and it would be unreasonable if the deletion or amendment of a claim re-opened other, un-amended, claims to examination for clarity. ” for type a(ii) amendments the board concluded that “it has never been doubted that where an alleged lack of compliance is introduced by such an amendment, the claim may be examined for such compliance.   in the board’s view, allowing a wide-ranging re-examination for clarity would in effect make article 84 epc a ground for opposition, contrary to the clearly expressed intent of the legislator. Features based on the description or drawings which were not present in the originally-granted claims – are not subject to the same restriction, so opponents and patentees alike should keep a close eye out for any arguable lack of clarity in such features.  the enlarged board gave the following example, again using the term “substantial” as an unclear feature: granted claims: 1.  the feature was deemed to be unclear, even though the examining division had not raised a clarity objection and had allowed the claims to grant with the “unclear” feature present. Should claims be re-examined which are themselves unamended, if they are present in a claim set having an amended claim.  the epo can refuse to grant a patent if it considers this requirement not to be met. .Russian dating scam online dating site.

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