European Patent Office (EPO) – Board of Appeal Decision in case T 1063/18 on the Patentability of Plants
Case T 1063/18 concerns the appeal by the applicant against the decision of the examining division to refuse European patent application no. 12 756 468.0 (publication no. EP 2 753 168: “New pepper plants and fruits with improved nutritional value”, Applicant: Syngenta Participations AG) for the sole reason that the claimed subject-matter falls within the exception to patentability according to Article 53(b) and Rule 28(2) EPC (plants exclusively obtained by means of an essentially biological process).
At the oral proceedings, which took place on 5 December 2018, Technical Board of Appeal 3304, in an enlarged composition consisting of three technically and two legally qualified members, held that Rule 28(2) EPC (see Office Journal 2017, A56) is in conflict with Article 53(b) EPC as interpreted by the Enlarged Board of Appeal in decisions G 2/12 (“Method for breeding tomatoes having reduced water content and product of the method, Patent Proprietor: State of Israel, Ministry of Agriculture, the so called “Tomatoes II” case) and G 2/13 (“Method for selective increase of the anticarcinogenic glucosinolates in Brassica species”, Patent Proprietor: Plant Bioscience Limited, the so called “Broccoli II” case).
The Board referred to Article …Read More
On 1 November 2018 the EPO issued the new CII Guidelines, in which all substantial changes relate mainly to sections discussing the First Hurdle (technical character), that is Parts F-IV and G-VII.
Moreover, the new EPO CII Guidelines include for the first time new sections on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), and on Simulation, design or modelling.
The main aspects of the 2018 EPO CII Guidelines are explained below:
Mathematical methods (G-II 3.3)
The section on mathematical methods has been completely revised, adding a distinction between contribution in producing a technical effect that serves a technical purpose, by its application to a field of technology and/or by being adapted to a specific technical implementation.
Concerning contribution by way of application to a particular field of technology, the following specific examples are given:
De-noising, detecting persons in a digital image, estimating the quality of a transmitted digital audio signal;
Mapping a speech input to a text output;
Error-correction coding of data for transmission over a noisy channel, compression of audio, image, video or sensor data;
Optimizing load distribution in a computer network;
Determining the energy expenditure of a subject by processing data …Read More