During appeal proceedings, the Board of Appeal may refer a question to the Enlarged Board of Appeal if a point of law of fundamental importance arises. On this basis, in February 2019, the Board of Appeal (for appeal number T0318/14) referred the following questions to the Enlarged Board of Appeal:1. Can a European patent application be refused under Article 97(2) EPC if it claims the same subject-matter as a European patent granted to the same applicant which does not form part of the state of the art pursuant to Article 54(2) and (3) EPC?2.1 If the answer to the first question is yes, what are the conditions for such a refusal, and are different conditions to be applied where the European patent application under examination was filed
Insights: European patent
In their recent decision (T1839/18), the boards of appeal re-affirmed the legality of straw man oppositions. Although this in itself is not news, we felt it offered a good opportunity to look again at the many advantages of anonymously opposing a European patent.