IP Cases & Articles

Order from the Enlarged Board of Appeal in G 1/15

​The EPO's Enlarged Board of Appeal has recently issued an order which apparently summarises their conclusions with respect to the issue of "poisonous divisionals".

Dated 29 November 2016, the order from the Enlarged Board reads:

Under the EPC, entitlement to partial priority may not be refused for a claim encompassing alternative subject-matter by virtue of one or more generic expressions or otherwise (generic "OR"-claim) provided that said alternative subject-matter has been disclosed for the first time, directly, or at least implicitly, unambiguously and in an enabling manner in the priority document. No other substantive conditions or limitations apply in this respect.

The full reasoned decision from the Enlarged Board of Appeal is not yet available; we will provide a full analysis of the decision when it is published. On the face of it, however, this order represents positive news for applicants at the EPO since it appears to take a liberal approach to the issue of partial priorities which goes to the heart of so-called poisonous divisional applications.

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