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04-12-2016 » Enlarged board of appeal decision G1/15 on partial priority issued

The Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office has just given its decision in case G1/15 concerning partial priority (the questions referred to the EBA are available here).

According to the order of the decision, entitlement to partial priority may not be refused for a claim in respect of subject matter embraced by that claim that is disclosed directly, or at least implicitly, unambiguously and in an enabling manner in the priority application.  Provided that the disclosure in the priority application is enabling, there are no other substantive requirements in order for partial priority to be established.

The Enlarged Board of Appeal thus considers that partial priority can validly be claimed provided the criteria set out in decision G2/98 are met.

It now remains to be seen how the Boards of Appeal will apply G1/15, and whether the so-called “poisonous divisional” problem will disappear.

Further comments will be posted once the reasons for the decision are available.

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