Products and processes in the chemistry and material science fields are often defined using parameters. Sometimes a parametric definition is the only way in which to define the property of a substance or in some cases the substance itself. For example, a new crystalline form of a compound is often defined with reference to peak values from an x-ray diffraction spectra. The viscosity of a liquid reactant may be critical to the performance of an industrial synthesis process.
The recent decision by a Board of Appeal at the European Patent Office (EPO) has provided some important guidance to the patent world on private and confidential input documents submitted as part of the process of developing a new technical standard. Specifically the decision addresses whether these documents form part of the state of the art for assessing a patent’s novelty and inventive step.