Written Decision of the Enlarged Board of Appeal in case G1/15 regarding partial priority is publically available

As of February 1, 2017 the written decision of the Enlarged Board of Appeal in case G1/15 (regarding partial priority) is publicly available.
In our opinion, this landmark Decision certainly improves the situation for applicants of European patents, in particular Divisionals.

On the last page of the Decision, the Board orders:
“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.”

This Order is now publically available together with the reasons of the Enlarged Board of Appeal. When studying these reasons, our first conclusions are:

  • A self-collision between two EP applications from the same applicant (which are somehow connected by a priority claim) has become less likely.
  • “Poisonous” Divisionals are much less poisonous than previously feared.