T 0936/04 (Double patenting/CONOCO) of 24.4.2008

European Case Law Identifier: ECLI:EP:BA:2008:T093604.20080424
Date of decision: 24 April 2008
Case number: T 0936/04
Application number: 95110256.5
IPC class: B01J 37/16
Language of proceedings: EN
Distribution: B
Download and more information:
Decision text in EN (PDF, 41.642K)
Documentation of the appeal procedure can be found in the Register
Bibliographic information is available in: EN
Versions: Unpublished
Title of application: Pd and Ag containing catalyst for the selective hydrogenation of acetylene
Applicant name: ConocoPhillips Company
Opponent name: 01) BASF SE
02) KataLeuna GmbH Catalysts
Board: 3.3.07
Headnote: -
Relevant legal provisions:
European Patent Convention 1973 Art 111
European Patent Convention Art 123(2)
European Patent Convention R 80
Keywords: Double patenting (no)
Amendments - allowable (yes)
Remittal - (yes)

(1) Double patenting is not a ground of opposition. It is within the discretion of the instances of the EPO to raise the objection in opposition or opposition appeal proceedings against proposed amended claims, but this should be done only in clear cases. The purpose behind the principle of prohibition of double patenting is to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort, and not to impose on the instances of the EPO an obligation to make a complex comparison between the case before them and the claims that may have been granted in some other proceedings (see Reasons section 2 on double patenting, in particular Point 2.3).

(2) Where at the time of the decision by the opposition division no patent had yet been granted on the divisional application, then for this reason alone the opposition division was correct to disregard the objections of double patenting raised before it. At that stage it would be only a matter for the Examining Division, in the proceedings on the divisional application before it, to avoid double patenting by allowing again claims already granted in the parent patent (see Reasons, Point 2.2).

Cited decisions:
G 0001/05
G 0001/06
T 0058/86
T 0133/92
T 0441/92
T 0307/03
Citing decisions:
T 2402/10
T 0259/13

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