OJ EPO SE 5/2014, p152 - ANNEX 1

Decisions discussed in the Case Law Report for 2012 and 2013

I. PATENTABILITY

A. Exceptions to patentability

1. Breaches to "ordre public" or morality

T 2221/10

3.3.08

04.02.14

25

T 1836/10

3.3.08

09.04.13

26

2. Patentability of biological inventions

2.1 Essentially biological processes for the production of plants

T 1242/06

3.3.04

31.05.12

27

T 83/05

3.3.04

08.07.13

28

3. Medical methods

3.1 Surgical methods

T 1798/08

3.2.02

21.08.12

30

B. Novelty

1. Defining the state of the art

1.1 Availability to the public

T 834/09

3.3.05

02.02.12

31

1.2 Internet disclosures

T 1553/06

3.5.04

12.03.12

32

T 2/09

3.5.04

12.03.12

33

T 1469/10

3.5.05

28.06.13

33

1.3 Oral disclosure at a lecture

T 2003/08

3.3.04

31.10.12

34

1.4 Prior use

T 1682/09

3.4.02

21.03.13

35

2. Issues of proof

2.1 Cases decided on the absolute conviction criterion

T 71/09

3.3.10

03.07.12

35

3. Determining the content of the relevant prior art

3.1 Taking non-technical features into account when assessing novelty

T 2050/07

3.3.08

19.02.13

36

4. Novelty of use

4.1 Novelty of the therapeutic application

T 108/09

3.3.02

14.02.13

36

4.2 Second (or further) medical use

4.2.1 Differentiation of a direct and indirect effect on claims

T 1955/09

3.3.04

12.06.13

37

4.2.2 Claims for therapeutic methods

T 454/08

3.3.02

08.11.12

38

4.2.3 Means used in the treatment

T 2003/08

3.3.04

31.10.12

39

C. Inventive step

1. Reformulation of the technical problem

T 1422/12

3.3.10

11.04.13

40

2. Treatment of technical and non-technical features

2.1 Identifying technical features

2.1.1 Shopping with mobile device

T 1670/07

3.5.01

11.07.13

41

2.1.2 Games

T 42/10

3.5.01

28.02.13

43

2.2 Assessment of technical effect

T 1741/08

3.5.06

02.08.12

44

T 862/10

3.5.06

15.05.13

45

T 1539/09

3.5.06

18.07.13

46

3. Features not contributing to the solution of the problem

T 1009/12

3.2.07

08.01.13

47

4. Chemical inventions – synergistic effect

T 1814/11

3.3.01

06.02.13

47

5. Obvious desiderata

T 661/09

3.4.02

22.10.13

48

II. PATENT APPLICATION AND AMENDMENTS

A. Claims

T 459/09

3.4.01

13.12.12

49

T 373/12

3.2.08

02.04.14

50

B. Unity of invention

1. Euro-PCT applications – consideration of unity by the EPO

T 1981/12

3.2.03

24.09.13

50, 51

T 2459/12

3.4.03

17.10.13

50, 52

T 2473/12

3.3.09

05.11.13

50, 51

C. Sufficiency of disclosure

1. Clarity and completeness of disclosure

T 593/09

3.3.09

20.12.11

52

2. Reproducibility

T 432/10

3.3.02

19.12.12

52

2.1 Reproducibility without undue burden

2.1.1 Trial and error

T 852/09

3.3.04

06.09.13

53

2.2 Post-published documents

T 1273/09

3.3.04

20.02.13

54

3. The requirement of sufficiency of disclosure in the biotechnology field

3.1 Requirements relating to nucleotide and amino acid sequences

J 7/11

3.1.01

24.01.12

54, 55

J 8/11

3.1.01

30.01.13

54

4. The relationship between Article 83 and Article 84 EPC

4.1 Article 83 EPC and support from the description

T 553/11

3.3.09

19.03.13

56

4.2 Article 83 EPC and clarity of claims

T 593/09

3.3.09

20.12.11

56, 57

T 1526/09

3.3.01

22.01.13

57

D. Priority

1. Enabling disclosure in the priority document

T 107/09

3.3.04

12.07.12

58

2. First application – partial and multiple priorities

T 1222/11

3.3.07

04.12.12

59

E. Amendments

1. Article 123(2) EPC

1.1 General issues

T 2284/09

3.3.03

23.01.13

61

1.1.1 Notion of content of the application

T 667/08

3.4.01

20.04.12

61

T 2619/11

3.4.02

25.02.13

62

1.1.2 Value ranges, lists, singling out, generalisation

T 99/09

3.3.02

06.02.13

62

1.2 Intermediate generalisation – non-disclosed combinations

T 1906/11

3.4.02

18.01.13

63

T 248/12

3.2.06

05.03.13

63

T 500/11

3.3.05

04.09.13

64

1.3 Technical contribution – addition or deletion of a feature

T 248/12

3.2.06

05.03.13

65

1.4 Disclaimers

1.4.1 Applicable law – decisions G 1/03, G 2/03 and G 2/10

G 2/10

 

30.08.11

66

T 1068/07

3.3.08

25.06.10.

66

T 1870/08

3.4.03

13.03.12

66

T 2464/10

3.3.08

25.05.12

67

1.4.2 Decisions applying the criteria established by G 1/03, G 2/03 and G 2/10

T 1843/09

3.3.09

06.06.12

67

T 1836/10

3.3.08

09.04.13

67

T 1695/07

3.3.07

28.09.11

69

T 1487/09

3.2.02

24.09.13

69

1.5 Disclosure in drawings

T 1544/08

3.5.02

16.11.12

70

1.6 "Tests" for assessing the allowability of an amendment

1.6.1 Direct and unambiguous deducibility of amendments from the application as filed

T 612/09

3.3.04

11.04.13

70

2. Article 123(3) EPC

2.1 Extent of protection

2.1.1 Relationship between Article 123(3) EPC and Article 69 EPC

T 2259/09

3.2.02

07.06.13

72

T 2284/09

3.3.03

23.01.13

72

2.1.2 Miscellaneous issues

T 260/10

3.2.04

08.11.11

73

F. Divisional applications

J 20/12

3.1.01

18.03.13

74

III. RULES COMMON TO ALL PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE EPO

A. The principle of the protection of legitimate expectations

1. Obligation to draw attention to easily remediable deficiencies

T 642/12

3.2.04

11.01.13

75

B. Right to be heard

T 1014/10

3.3.05

15.01.13

76

T 1843/11

3.3.09

08.03.13

77

C. Oral proceedings

1. Continuation of oral proceedings on the next day

T 2534/10

3.2.04

23.04.12

78

2. Non-attendance at oral proceedings

T 1500/10

3.2.08

20.12.12

78

D. Re-establishment of rights

J 5/11

3.1.01

06.06.12

79

E. Language regime

1. Derogation from the language of the proceedings in oral proceedings – provision of simultaneous interpretation

T 2422/10

3.2.07

26.02.13

79

2. Language privilege – fee reduction

T 642/12

3.2.04

11.01.13

80

F. Law of evidence

1. Witness testimony and expert opinion – Time frame for submitting evidence

T 480/11

3.3.09

11.07.13

80

G. Suspected partiality

1. Suspected partiality of members of the opposition division

T 1674/12

3.2.04

10.10.13

81

2. Suspected partiality of members of the boards of appeal

T 1677/11

3.3.01

27.11.12

83

3. Suspected partiality of members of the Enlarged Board of Appeal

R 2/12

 

26.09.12

84

H. Formal aspects of decisions of EPO departments

1. Completion of the internal decision-making process

T 2573/11

3.5.04

07.02.13

84

I. Correction of errors in decisions

G 1/10

 

23.07.12

85

J. Inspection of files and stay of proceedings

1. Inspection of files

1.1 Exclusion from file inspection

T 1839/11

3.3.09

29.06.12

86

T 99/09

3.3.02

06.02.13

87

2. Stay of proceedings under Rule 14(1) EPC

2.1 General

J 9/12

3.1.01

28.06.13

87

2.2 Rule 14(3) EPC

J 13/12

3.1.01

17.06.13

88

K. Observations by third parties

1. Anonymously filed observations in appeal proceedings

T 1439/09

3.3.08

16.04.13

89

2. Third-party observations filed at a late procedural stage

T 637/09

3.3.02

20.03.13

90

3. Third-party observations inadmissible in review proceedings

R 18/11

 

22.11.12

90

L. Rules relating to Fees

1. Methods of payment – debit orders

J 14/12

3.1.01

12.12.13

91

2. Insufficient payments – small amounts lacking

T 642/12

3.2.04

11.01.13

91

3. Partial refund of the examination fee

J 9/10

3.1.01

18.04.12

92

M. Representation

1. Professional representatives

1.1 Duty of persons without residence or place of business within a contracting state to be represented by a professional representative

J 9/13

3.1.01

24.07.13

93

2. Authorisations for appointment of a representative

T 637/09

3.3.02

20.03.13

94

2.1 Filing of authorisation

T 1700/11

3.2.01

15.11.12

95

T 1542/10

3.5.03

06.11.13

95

IV. PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE EPO

A.

Preliminary and formalities examination

1. Accordance of a date of filing

1.1 Subsequent filing of missing parts of the description or missing drawings (Rule 56 EPC)

1.1.1 Interpretation of Rule 56 EPC

J 27/10

3.1.01

09.12.11

96

J 15/12

3.1.01

18.02.13

97

J 2/12

3.1.01

07.08.13

97

B. Examination procedure

1. The first stage of substantive examination

1.1 Beginning of "substantive examination"

J 9/10

3.1.01

18.04.12

97

1.2 Amendments under Rule 137(3) EPC

1.2.1 Discretion of the examining division under Rule 137(3) EPC

T 937/09

3.2.04

20.07.12

98

T 996/12

3.2.07

14.03.13

99

T 573/12

3.5.01

08.05.13

100

T 158/12

3.2.06

25.10.13

101

2. The grant stage in examination

2.1 Communication under Rule 71(3) EPC: the text for approval

T 1849/12

3.2.05

03.12.12

101

2.2 Correction of the withdrawal of the application under Rule 139 EPC

J 6/13

3.1.01

23.07.13

102

2.3 Claims fees due in response to Rule 71(3) EPC communication

J 6/12

3.1.01

29.01.13

103

3. Additional searches during examination

3.1 Additional search: limited discretion of the examining division

T 1924/07

3.5.01

22.06.12

104

C. Special features of opposition and appeal proceedings

1. Transfer of opponent status

1.1 General principles

T 1911/09

3.2.05

27.09.12

104

1.2 Evidence for and effect of a transfer

T 1982/09

3.5.03

27.04.12

105

T 184/11

3.2.01

14.05.13

106

2. Intervention

2.1 Admissibility

2.1.1 National infringement proceedings

T 1713/11

3.2.04

12.12.12

107

2.1.2 Proceedings before the EPO

T 1961/09

3.2.06

26.06.13

108

3. Apportionment of costs

3.1 Abuse of procedure

T 2165/08

3.3.04

06.03.13

109

T 1404/10

3.2.01

24.06.13

110

D. Opposition procedure

1. Filing of the opposition and admissibility requirements

T 1553/06

3.5.04

12.03.12

111

T 2/09

3.5.04

12.03.12

111

2. Identity of the opponent

T 22/09

3.3.07

21.06.13

112

3. Substantiation of the opposition

3.1 Need to indicate facts and evidence

T 613/10

3.4.03

29.11.12

114

4. Late submission

4.1 Opposition divisions' exercise of discretion

T 1485/08

3.3.01

20.12.12

116

T 418/10

3.3.05

03.05.13

117

T 2165/10

3.2.07

11.12.13

117

E. Appeal procedure

1. Filing and admissibility of appeal

1.1 Appealable decisions

1.1.1 Decisions

T 2434/09

3.5.04

22.11.11

118

1.2 Board competent to hear a case

G 1/11

 

19.03.14

118

T 1676/08

3.3.02

09.03.12

118

1.3 Entitlement to appeal

1.3.1 Party adversely affected

T 1982/09

3.5.03

27.04.12

119

1.4 Form and time limit of appeal

1.4.1 Form and content of notice of appeal (Rule 99(1) EPC)

T 1961/09

3.2.06

26.06.13

119

1.5 Statement of grounds

1.5.1 General principles

J 10/11

3.1.01

03.12.12

119

T 395/12

3.5.06

23.11.12

120

T 473/09

3.3.07

09.10.12

121

T 2532/11

3.3.05

14.10.13

121

1.5.2 New case raised

T 2532/11

3.3.05

14.10.13

121

T 933/09

3.2.02

05.06.12

122

1.5.3 Exceptional circumstances warranting admissibility of the appeal

T 1020/13

3.2.06

16.10.13

122

1.6 Admissibility of appeal to be checked in every phase of appeal proceedings

T 670/09

3.3.06

14.12.11

123

1.7 Interlocutory revision

T 1060/13

3.5.05

16.12.13

123

1.8 Accelerated proceedings

T 734/12

3.3.04

17.05.13

124

2. Substantive examination of the appeal

2.1 Binding effect of requests – no reformatio in peius

T 1843/09

3.3.09

06.06.12

125

T 1979/11

3.3.09

28.06.13

125

T 61/10

3.3.07

13.11.13

126

2.2 Subject-matter under examination

T 226/09

3.3.07

02.02.12

127

T 1799/08

3.3.07

18.06.13

127

2.3 Review of first-instance discretionary decisions

T 1849/12

3.2.05

03.12.12

129

3. Termination of appeal proceedings

3.1 Withdrawal of the appeal

3.1.1 Board's duty to issue decision when appeal is withdrawn after the decision is announced

T 1518/11

3.3.01

13.08.13

129

4. Remittal to the department of first instance

4.1 Remittal following filing or late submission of relevant new document

T 78/11

3.5.03

22.11.12

130

4.2 Binding effect of decision remitting case to department of first instance

4.2.1 Department of first instance bound by decision of board of appeal

T 383/11

3.5.02

17.04.12

131

5. Late submission in appeal proceedings

5.1 Complete case (Article 12(2) RPBA)

T 1544/08

3.5.02

16.11.12

131

5.2 Submissions not examined at first instance (Article 12(4) RPBA)

5.2.1 Evidence withheld at first instance

J 5/11

3.1.01

06.06.12

132

T 724/08

3.4.03

16.11.12

133

5.2.2 Requests withheld by the proprietor in opposition proceedings

T 1125/10

3.2.06

07.02.13

134

T 936/09

3.2.01

01.03.12

135

5.2.3 Requests admitted as a normal procedural development

T 134/11

3.3.09

06.11.12

136

5.2.4 Review proceedings

R 11/11

 

14.11.11

137

R 13/11

 

20.04.12

137

R 4/13

 

25.07.13

137

5.3 Amendments to a party's case – procedural economy (Article 13(1) RPBA)

T 1033/10

3.2.06

21.03.13

137

T 1732/10

3.2.07

19.12.13

138

5.4 Absence of a party from oral proceedings (Article 15(3) RPBA)

T 1949/09

3.3.07

26.09.12

139

6. Reimbursement of appeal fees

T 1500/10

3.2.08

20.12.12

139

T 1553/13

3.2.06

20.02.14

140

T 2017/12

3.5.06

24.02.14

140

7. Proceedings before the Enlarged Board of Appeal

7.1 Important points of law

7.1.1 Situations where referral is not appropriate

T 2459/12

3.4.03

17.10.13

140

7.2 Petition for review under Article 112a EPC

7.2.1 General

R 15/13

 

18.10.13

140

7.2.2 Scope of review by the Enlarged Board of Appeal

R 4/13

 

25.07.13

141

7.2.3 Obligation to raise objections in accordance with Rule 106 EPC

R 5/12

 

20.12.12

141

T 1544/08

3.5.02

16.11.12

141

R 2/12

 

17.10.12

142

T 518/10

3.3.01

09.04.13

142

7.2.4 Contents of the petition for review in accordance with Rule 107 EPC

R 4/12

 

20.12.12

143

7.2.5 Fundamental violation of Article 113 EPC (Article 112a(2)(c) EPC)

R 2/13

 

10.06.13

143

R 12/12

 

14.01.13

143

R 4/12

 

20.12.12

144, 146, 147

R 13/12

 

14.11.12

144

R 1/12

 

31.01.13

145

R 17/11

 

19.03.12

145, 146

R 1/13

 

17.06.13

146

R 21/11

 

15.06.12

147

R 15/11

 

13.05.13

148

7.2.6 Any other funamental procedural defect (Article 112a(2)(d) EPC)

R 21/11

 

15.06.12

148

7.3 Examination of the petition under Rule 108 EPC

7.3.1 Replacement of members of the board of appeal under Rule 108(3) EPC

R 21/11

 

15.06.12

150

R 15/11

 

13.05.13

150

 

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