The relevant arguments and evidence to be considered by the examiner for assessing inventive step may either be taken from the originally-filed patent application or submitted by the applicant during the subsequent proceedings (see G‑VII, 5.2, and H‑V, 2.2 and H-V, 2.4).
Care must be taken, however, whenever new effects in support of inventive step are referred to. Such new effects can only be taken into account if they are implied by or at least related to the technical problem initially suggested in the originally filed application (see also G‑VII, 5.2, T 386/89 and T 184/82).
The invention as filed relates to a pharmaceutical composition having a specific activity. At first sight, having regard to the relevant prior art, it would appear that there is a lack of inventive step. Subsequently, the applicant submits new evidence which shows that the claimed composition exhibits an unexpected advantage in terms of low toxicity. In this case, it is allowable to reformulate the technical problem by including the aspect of toxicity, since pharmaceutical activity and toxicity are related in the sense that the skilled person would always contemplate the two aspects together.
The reformulation of the technical problem may or may not give rise to amendment or insertion of the statement of the technical problem in the description. Any such amendment is only allowable if it satisfies the conditions listed in H‑V, 2.4. In the above example of a pharmaceutical composition, neither the reformulated problem nor the information on toxicity could be introduced into the description without infringing Art. 123(2).
Date retrieved: 30 December 2018