Prioriteit van wat?

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Prioriteit van wat?
De betekenis van ‘dezelfde uitvinding’ in
de rechtspraktijk
Rutger Kleemans 13 november 2014
Art. 4 onder C UvP
Met een eerste aanvrage, waarvan de dagtekening van het
depot het begintijdstip van de termijn van voorrang is, moet
worden gelijkgesteld een latere aanvrage, die hetzelfde
onderwerp heeft als een eerder gedane aanvrage (…)
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Art. 87 lid 1 EOV Recht van voorrang
Degene die (..) een aanvrage heeft ingediend voor een octrooi
(..) geniet voor het indienen van een Europese octrooi
aanvrage voor dezelfde uitvinding een recht van voorrang
gedurende een termijn van twaalf maanden vanaf de datum
van de indiening van de eerste aanvrage.
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Art. 9 lid 1 ROW
Degene die (…) octrooi of een gebruikscertificaat dan wel
bescherming van een gebruiksmodel heeft aangevraagd,
geniet gedurende een termijn van twaalf maanden na de
dag van die aanvrage in Nederland (…) een recht van
voorrang ter verkrijging van octrooi van datgene,
waarvoor door hem de in de aanhef bedoelde
bescherming werd aangevraagd.
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“dezelfde uitvinding”
De latere aanvrage mag afwijken (en doet dat vaak ook
omdat bij het indienen van de eerste aanvrage in veel
gevallen spoed geboden is) mits maar sprake is van dezelfde
uitvinding.
“Bearing in mind that the subject-matter of a patent
application commonly comprises creative thinking, it is
not always immediately easy to describe and define such
subject-matter in the most appropriate way, especially
when under pressure to file a patent as soon as possible in
order to establish the earliest possible priority date.”
Patterson, The European Patent System, 2001
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Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) G 2/98
The requirement for claiming priority of 'the same
invention', referred to in Article 87(1) EPC, means that
priority of a previous application in respect of a claim in a
European patent application in accordance with Article 88
EPC is to be acknowledged only if the skilled person can
derive the subject-matter of the claim directly and
unambiguously, using common general knowledge,
from the previous application as a whole.
‘directly and unambiguously’ : Priority / Novelty /
Added Matter
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Case Law, Technical Boards of Appeal (TBA) 948/97
The subject-matter of the claim defining the invention in
the European application has to be understood as “the
specific combination of features present in the
claim”
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T 647/97
The invention of subject-matter of a previous application
was to be considered the same as that of a subsequent
application if the disclosure of both applications was the
same. This not only required that a solution to a given
problem was the same, but also that the problem itself
was the same in both applications. The proper
definition of the problem to be solved in the
priority document as understood by the skilled
person reading the document with his common general
knowledge in the art at the filing date was decisive to that
end.
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T 250/06
In T 250/06 the board emphasised that, for priority to be
acknowledged, it was not sufficient that a formal support
for the claimed subject matter be found in the priority
document; on the contrary, it pre-supposed that the priority
document also provided an adequate technical
teaching in respect of said subject-matter and this was the
“same” teaching” as that of the European patent
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Enabling disclosure in the priority document
The priority document must disclose the invention claimed
in the subsequent application in such a way that it can be
carried out by a person skilled in the art.
T 0903/05 (Gemvax)
Beyond the issue of enablement, the Board sees no legal
basis for imposing additional criteria such as the
presence of experimental data in the priority document
which make plausible that the invention would work.
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Enabling disclosure, UK Hospira v Genetech, Birss J
Although I am reluctant to do so I disagree with the
statement in Gemvax. The requirement for priority is that
the earlier application must be in respect of the same
invention as the patent. (..) In order to make an enabling
disclosure of an invention it must be possible to make a
reasonable prediction that the invention will work.
In the context of an invention which includes the
achievement of a therapeutic effect as one of its features,
absolute proof is not required but the patentee must
show that the therapeutic effect is plausible (Regeneron
paragraph 103). It seems to me that this logic applies just as
much to priority as it does to sufficiency of disclosure (see
also Biogen on the relationship between priority and
sufficiency).(..) I find that in law the test for priority
includes the requirement for plausibility in a case
like this one.
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EOB Guidelines for Examination, November 2014
2.2 The same invention
The basic test to determine whether a claim is entitled to
the date of a priority document is, as far as the requirement
of "the same invention" is concerned (see F-VI, 1.3(iv)), the
same as the test for determining whether or not an
amendment to an application satisfies the requirement of
Art. 123(2) (see H-IV, 2). That is to say, for the priority
date to be valid in this respect the subject-matter of the
claim must be directly and unambiguously derivable
from the disclosure of the invention in the priority
document, also taking into account any features
implicit to a person skilled in the art in what is
expressly mentioned in the document (see G 2/98).
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EOB Guidelines for Examination, November 2014
2.2 The same invention
(..)It is not necessary that the subject-matter for which
priority is claimed be found among any claims in the
previous application (..)
The requirement that the disclosure must be specific
means that it is not sufficient if the subject-matter in
question is merely referred to in broad and general
terms. A claim to a detailed embodiment of a certain
feature would not be entitled to priority on the basis of a
mere general reference to that feature in a priority
document. Exact literal correspondence is not required,
however. It is enough that, on a reasonable assessment,
there is in substance a disclosure of the same subjectmatter of the claim.
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Parallel met 123(2) T 1906/11:
Whether an amendment qualifies as “intermediate
generalization” or rather as “omission of an originally
disclosed feature” or “multiple selection from two groups of
alternative features” does not allow to draw a conclusion on
whether this amendment is admissible under A 123(2). The
only relevant question is whether the skilled person
who is confronted with the amended version of the
application or the patent, as compared to the skilled
person who was only aware of the originally disclosed
version, would find additional, technically relevant
pieces of information in the amended version. Only
when it is possible to find such additional, technically
relevant pieces of information can there be a violation of the
requirements of A 123(2).
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Parallel met 123(2) EOB Guidelines for Examination
(OUD):
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EOB Guidelines for Examination, Nieuw per 1 nov. 2014
Aan paragraaf H-IV 2.3 is de volgende tekst toegevoegd:
“When assessing the conformity of the amended claims to
the requirements of Art. 123(2), the focus should be placed
on what is really disclosed to the skilled person by the
documents as filed as directed to a technical audience. In
particular, the examiner should avoid disproportionally
focusing on the structure of the claims as filed to
the detriment of the subject-matter that the skilled
person would directly and unambiguously derive
from the application as a whole.”
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Ook parallel met nieuwheid, zie dus bijv. T 332/87
This means that, when examining novelty, different
passages of one document may be combined
provided that there are no reasons which would
prevent a skilled person from such a combination.
In general the technical teaching of examples may be
combined with that disclosed elsewhere in the
same document, e.g. in the description of a patent
document, provided that the example concerned is indeed
representative for the general technical teaching disclosed
in the respective document.
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Hof Den Haag 27 januari 2009, SMT/Angiotech
9.2 Naar het oordeel van het hof bepaalt artikel 87(1)
EOV, kort gezegd, dat een (Europese octrooi)aanvrage
en het daarbij ingeroepen prioriteitsdocument "dezelfde
uitvinding" dienen te betreffen.
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Hof Den Haag 29 januari 2013, Agfa/Xingraphics
4.13 dat [het recht op prioriteit] slechts erkend wordt indien
de vakman de materie van de betreffende conclusie direct
en ondubbelzinnig kan afleiden uit de
voorrangsaanvraag. Daarbij is niet alleen maatgevend wat
expliciet in de voorrangsaanvraag staat, maar ook hetgeen
de vakman op basis van zijn algemene vakkennis op de
dag van indiening van de voorrangsaanvraag impliciet
meeleest. De voorrangsaanvraag wordt daarbij als
geheel in aanmerking genomen. Bij de beoordeling wordt
derhalve niet alleen gekeken naar de conclusies van de
voorrangsaanvraag, maar ook naar de beschrijving en de
eventuele tekeningen.
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Hof Den Haag 2 november 2010, Glaxo/Pharmachemie
dat GB 083 voor de gemiddelde vakman voldoende
aanwijzingen bevat om daaruit direct en
ondubbelzinnig te kunnen afleiden dat (juist)
Ondansetron geschikt is voor het verlichten van
misselijkheid en braken (en dat dit therapeutisch effect
inderdaad bereikt wordt).
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Vgz. Rb. Den Haag 12 mei 2014, Novartis / Sun
4.5. Novartis kan naar voorlopig oordeel geen beroep
doen op de prioriteit van US 689 omdat de in conclusie 7
van het octrooi geclaimde uitvinding niet direct en
ondubbelzinnig wordt geopenbaard in US 689. Meer
specifiek openbaart US 689 niet direct en
ondubbelzinnig het in conclusie 7 geclaimde
doseringsbereik in combinatie met intraveneuze
toediening.
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EPO Boards of Appeal Case Law 2013, p. 266
The patent must be construed by a mind willing to
understand, not a mind desirous of misunderstanding.
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© Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP 2014
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