Wednesday 11 May 2016

G 1/15 (partial priority) - an update

My post on the G 1/15 amicus briefs, initially written on 3 March, has been amended extensively as the briefs kept on appearing on the EP register. The total, including comments from the EPO President, the patentee and the opponent, has now risen to 37 following a very late submission from Malcolm Lawrence, now of Concerto IP. The drawing on the right is taken from this submission, and is a fairly typical example of how clearly the issue is presented.

As you may recall, Mr Lawrence was in some ways responsible for the whole problem of poisonous divisionals and related issues, which he first raised as an issue in an article for epi information in June 2011, which I commented on here. At the time, no mention was made of Article 88(2) EPC being a solution to the problem, or even being related to it at all. I first raised it as a possible solution in a post in May 2013 here, which has since been given the name "Tufty's Law", although the same reasoning was arrived at a few months earlier in T 1222/11. His latest submissions, which do mention Article 88(2), are typically very wordy, running to a total of 39 pages, including drawings. Thankfully it is only necessary to read the first page to find out what he thinks the answer to question 1 should be, which is a qualified yes. I have not read the remaining 38 pages (as I value my sanity too much, what is left of it) but if anyone reading this has, and finds any interesting points, I would be grateful for any comments pointing them out.

Oral proceedings have been scheduled for 7-8 June 2016 at the EPO in Munich for the Enlarged Board to hear submissions from the parties in the proceedings. A final decision will presumably be arrived at a few months afterwards. Because this is an issue I have been keeping an eye on for several years, I have persuaded myself that it would be good idea to go to Munich to attend the oral proceedings so I can see for myself how the arguments are presented and maybe get an idea of the thinking of the Enlarged Board. A blog post or two will of course be written while I am there. If any readers are going to be there too, please get in touch with me and we can meet up. I can be contacted at tuftythecat at gmail dot com or via Twitter @tuftythecat. I also have a work email address, which is fairly easy to find.

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