T 0307/03 (ARCO/Double patenting) of 3.7.2007

European Case Law Identifier: ECLI:EP:BA:2007:T030703.20070703
Date of decision: 03 July 2007
Case number: T 0307/03
Application number: 00118123.9
IPC class: B01J 27/26
Language of proceedings: EN
Distribution: A
Download and more information:
Decision text in EN (PDF, 39.123K)
Documentation of the appeal procedure can be found in the Register
Bibliographic information is available in: EN
Versions: OJ | Published
Title of application: Improved double metal cyanide complex catalysts
Applicant name: ARCO Chemical Technology, L.P.
Opponent name: -
Board: 3.3.07
Headnote: 1. The principle of prohibition of double patenting, namely that the inventor (or his successor in title) has a right to the grant of one and only one patent from the European Patent Office for a particular invention as defined in a particular claim is applicable under the EPC , and can be deduced from the provision of Article 60 EPC stating "The right to a European patent shall belong to the inventor or his successor in title" (see point 2.1).
2. Decision T 587/98 (OJ EPO 2000, 497) to the effect (see its point 3.6) that there is no basis in the EPC prohibiting "conflicting claims" not followed (see point 2.7).
3. A double patenting objection can be raised also where the subject matter of the granted claim is encompassed by the subject matter of the claim later put forward, that is where the applicant is seeking to re-patent the subject-matter of the already granted patent claim, and in addition to obtain patent protection for other subject-matter not claimed in the already granted patent. In particular, where the subject matter which would be double patented is the preferred way of carrying out the invention both of the granted patent and of the pending application under consideration, the extent of double patenting cannot be ignored as de minimis. To avoid the objection of double patenting the claims of the pending application should be confined to the other subject-matter that is not already patented, to allow the examination procedure to focus on whether a claim to this other subject-matter meets the requirements of the EPC (see points 5.2 to 5.4).
Relevant legal provisions:
European Patent Convention Art 60
UK Patents Act 1977: Section 18(5)
European Patent Convention 1973 Art 54(3)
European Patent Convention 1973 Art 60
European Patent Convention 1973 Art 125
Keywords: Principle of prohibition of double patenting - applicable under EPC (yes)
Later claim more broadly formulated - double patenting prohibition applicable (yes)


Cited decisions:
G 0001/05
G 0001/06
T 0587/98
T 0009/00
Citing decisions:
T 0936/04
T 1423/07
T 2402/10
T 2461/10
T 1483/11
T 2563/11

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