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The limitations of the European Patent Office—in the view of the English appeal court

01-01-2010

Jacqueline Needle

Recent decisions have seen the English Appeal Court criticise the decision-making process of the European Patent Office. Jacqueline Needle looks at the implications.

Recent decisions have seen the English Appeal Court criticise the decision-making process of the European Patent Office. Jacqueline Needle looks at the implications.

Introduction

Practitioners in the UK had generally been led to believe that the English courts would defer to the European Patent Office (EPO) wherever possible. However, in recent cases, the English Appeal Court has found itself, and the lower courts, to be better equipped than the EPO to deal with cases requiring an evaluation of facts. The Appeal Court has therefore declared that it will give no deference to the findings of the Technical Boards of Appeal of the EPO for cases that are ‘fact-sensitive’.


EPO, English appeal court, gene patents, invention, biotechnology

WIPR

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