There is a will on the side of the European Patent Office to make patent prosecution more effective and faster.
Raising the bar of patent quality was a theme some years ago, when the EPO encouraged representatives to draft patent applications according to European Patent Convention (EPC) standards.
The aim was fewer examination communications, to the expected benefit of both EPO, in view of reduced workload of the examiners, and the applicant because of lower patent prosecution costs.
The Guidelines for Examination in the EPO instruct examiners to use the ‘problem-and-solution’ approach to determine inventive step. The ‘problem-and-solution’ approach tells that to deprive an invention of inventive step, there has to be something (an ‘incentive’) in the closest prior art that would prompt a given skilled person to combine the cited documents.
To continue reading, you need a subscription to WIPR. Start a subscription to WIPR for £455.
In-house feature articles, the archive and expert comment require a paid subscription. Subscribe now.
Want to give it a try? We are offering a two week free trial to the WIPR website – register and select “Free Trial” to begin access to the full WIPR archive and read the latest news, features and expert comment. Begin your free trial here.
Is your 2 week free trial about to end? Upgrade to a 12 month subscription for £455 now.
If you have already subscribed please login.
If you have any technical issues please email James Lynn on firstname.lastname@example.org.
EPO, patent prosecution, examination, EPC, PCT