T 0557/13 (Partial Priority / Infineum) of 17.7.2015

European Case Law Identifier: ECLI:EP:BA:2015:T055713.20150717
Date of decision: 17 July 2015
Case number: T 0557/13
Decision of the Enlarged Board of Appeal: G 0001/15
Application number: 98203458.9
IPC class: C10L 10/04
C10L 1/22
C10L 1/18
C10L 1/14
Language of proceedings: EN
Distribution: A
Download and more information:
Decision text in EN (PDF, 756.172K)
Documentation of the appeal procedure can be found in the Register
Bibliographic information is available in: EN
Versions: OJ | Unpublished v2 | Published
Title of application: Use of cold flow improvers in fuel oil compositions
Applicant name: Infineum USA L.P.
Opponent name: Clariant Produkte (Deutschland) GmbH
Board: 3.3.06
Headnote: -
Relevant legal provisions:
Paris Convention Art 4g, 4f
European Patent Convention 1973 Art 52(1)
European Patent Convention 1973 Art 54(3)
European Patent Convention 1973 Art 100(a)
European Patent Convention 1973 Art 100(c)
European Patent Convention 1973 Art 89
European Patent Convention 1973 Art 112(1)(a)
European Patent Convention Art 76(1)
European Patent Convention Art 87
European Patent Convention Art 88
European Patent Convention Art 123(2)
Keywords: Priority - Partial priority
Novelty - Parent/divisionals
Novelty - State of the art under Article 54(3) EPC
Referral to the Enlarged Board of Appeal - Points of law of fundamental importance
Referral to the Enlarged Board of Appeal - Divergence in case law

The following questions are referred to the Enlarged Board for decision:

1. Where a claim of a European patent application or patent encompasses alternative subject-matters by virtue of one or more generic expressions or otherwise (generic "OR"-claim), may entitlement to partial priority be refused under the EPC for that claim in respect of alternative subject-matter disclosed (in an enabling manner) for the first time, directly, or at least implicitly, and unambiguously, in the priority document?

2. If the answer is yes, subject to certain conditions, is the proviso "provided that it gives rise to the claiming of a limited number of clearly defined alternative subject-matters" in point 6.7 of G 2/98 to be taken as the legal test for assessing entitlement to partial priority for a generic "OR"-claim?

3. If the answer to question 2 is yes, how are the criteria "limited number" and "clearly defined alternative subject- matters" to be interpreted and applied?

4. If the answer to question 2 is no, how is entitlement to partial priority to be assessed for a generic "OR"-claim?

5. If an affirmative answer is given to question 1, may subject-matter disclosed in a parent or divisional application of a European patent application be cited as state of the art under Article 54(3) EPC against subject-matter disclosed in the priority document and encompassed as an alternative in a generic "OR"-claim of the said European patent application or of the patent granted thereon?

Cited decisions:
G 0003/93
G 0002/98
G 0002/02
G 0003/02
G 0001/03
G 0001/05
G 0002/10
J 0015/80
T 0081/87
T 0085/87
T 0073/88
T 0441/92
T 0441/93
T 0395/95
T 0077/97
T 0352/97
T 0665/00
T 1127/00
T 1177/00
T 0015/01
T 0135/01
T 1443/05
T 0184/06
T 1877/08
T 0476/09
T 2311/09
T 0571/10
T 2406/10
T 1222/11
T 1496/11
T 2473/12
Citing decisions:
T 0239/13
T 0379/13
T 0557/13

37 references found.

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EPC Articles

Offical Journal of the EPO

Case Law Book: I Patentability

Case Law Book: II Conditions to be met by an Application

Case Law of the Enlarged Board

General Case Law