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Articles & Updates – Details

8 July 2011

Surgical Methods in the Wake of G1/07 – Technical Board of Appeal Decision T0663/02

David Al-Khalili

In T0663/02 (17 March 2011) it was decided that the injection of a magnetic resonance contrast agent into a vein does not render the claim excluded from patentability on the basis that “the placement of an intravenous catheter is one of the most common invasive procedures performed in hospitals and consulting rooms” and was routinely delegated by a physician to a qualified paramedical professional.

As such, it was not considered as an intervention which represented the 'core of the medical profession’s activities' as required by G1/07 and thus was not excluded by A53(c) EPC.

T0663/02 also provides a 'risk matrix'. The matrix combines the levels of likelihood and health impact of a complication of a medical act with regard to a large number of patients, so as to obtain statistical health risk scores. The Board used the risk matrix to confirm that intravenous injections may be considered as minor routine interventions involving no substantial health risks.

A full report will be published shortly in our August 2011 patent newsletter.

Useful links

EPO decision T0663/02


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