Friday, 20 January 2017

T 1148/12 - Does the figure show parallel electrodes?

Figure 9 shown above shows a garment with chest lead electrodes. According to the applicant the electrodes are arranged substantially parallel from each other and arranged in row. His main claim was amended by adding the restrictions 'parallel' and 'in row'. Can you get support from this amendment by looking at this and similar figures?

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

T 820/14 - Not wrong but not right either

During the search in the international phase of this application, the searcher raised a non-unity objection; identifying fourteen different groups of inventions among the application's 23 claims. To support the non-unity, it is explained that the claims have different technical objects with reference to the ISO/IEC Standard 15408. 
The applicant does not agree and does not pay additional search fees. Finally, a second auxiliary request filed during oral proceedings is not admitted by the Examining division, under R. 137(3) EPC.  The Examining division supports the decision not to allow the second auxiliary request into the proceedings by no less than 5 grounds--some of which are related to the lack of unity problems. 
The board considers that some of these five grounds are wrong, but also concludes that some are correctly within the discretion of the first division. The board acknowledges that in a case like this, G 7/93 seems to say that the board should not put its own views in the place of the first instance's. However, it concludes that in this case it should still do so. (Decision is in German).

Friday, 13 January 2017

T 2502/13 - Positive feature allowed as Art. 54(3) disclaimer?

In the opposition appeal to which this decision pertains (which has been suggested by a reader), the proprietor appealed against the decision of the Opposition Division to revoke the patent on the basis of all requests extending beyond the content of the application as filed (Article 123(2) EPC).

Of interest is the first auxiliary request of the appellant, by which the claim of the main request is further limited by: "further wherein the third ply of interlayer material comprises a plasticizer".

The appellant argues that the subject-matter of claim 1 of the first auxiliary request amounted to a disclaimer allowable in view of A8, which was prior art according to Article 54(3) EPC.

Monday, 9 January 2017

T 2561/11: Information is not explicitly mentioned, but implicitly present

"Invisible Ink"

In this opposition appeal, according to appellant 2 (proprietor), there were quite a lot of things erroneous with the notice of appeal of appellant 1 (opponent), such as: no name of the appellant mentioned, no correct indication of the decision impugned, and it should lack a clear request defining the subject of the appeal. The Board examined this and tried, for example, to understand who the appellant 1 was although this was not explicitly mentioned in the received notice of opposition. The Board also discussed Rule 99(1)(c) EPC comprehensively and concluded, also based on other case law, that a lacking definition of the subject of appeal must be understood as "request that the decision be set aside in its entirety".

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

T 488/13 - A printing error

This printing error increases value
Due to a printing error, a value in the claims differed between the printed patent and the Druckexamplar. During oral proceedings, the proprietor corrected a value in a request to the value in the Druckexamplar. Earlier, the proprietor had also filed requests in which unclear claims were cancelled. The opponents objected to both amendments on the basis of them being late filed, but the board rejects the objections. 

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

T 1789/11 - Bills, bills, bills

The opponent filed six related oppositions against patents arising from a parent application and five divisional applications from it. The Notices of Opposition each contained a debit order, ordering that the opposition fees to be debited from the opponent’s deposit account. Unfortunately, the opponent's deposit account had only contained sufficient funds for one opposition fee. After the opposition period ended, the deposit account was replenished and the opposition fee was payed with 30% penalty, under rules of the ADA. The proprietor challenges the legality of this. Note the Arrangements for deposit accounts (ADA) has since changed! (Old rulesNew rulesFaq ) 

Friday, 23 December 2016

T 623/13 - Deficient in clarity

Clear from the words alone?

This examination appeal deals with the clarity of the claims, and whether a clarity deficiency in the claim wording can be rectified by the fact that the description could possibly help the reader to understand the technical subject-matter which the claim was intended to define. In line with established case law, the Board decides that the claims must be clear by themselves.