In T 1165/97 the board held that a method of using a vaginal discharge collector and disposing of the collector after a single use could be considered susceptible of industrial application if it was conceivable that these steps were carried out as a paid service and were not exclusively dependent for their execution on the instructions of the woman in question. The board noted that, for the purposes of Art. 57 EPC 1973, what was relevant was the possibility that such a service might be offered by an enterprise. In that case, the board decided in the affirmative, pointing out that - in contrast to the case in T 74/93 - the service was not one satisfying only the strictly personal needs of the woman in question. Collecting a sample could be caused by external reasons, e.g. on the advice of a medical practitioner to have such a sample taken for further diagnosis.
Date retrieved: 02 November 2015