The Guidelines for Examination at the EPO have been significantly revised with the updated version due to come into force on 1st November 2018. The revisions relate to Computer Implemented Inventions, Inventive Step assessment in Opposition, Unity and more.
While, as the name suggests, the Guidelines do not provide binding precedence for the EPO, they do set out the day-to-day practice to be adopted by examiners. Familiarity with the Guidelines is important for a European Patent Attorney: the Guidelines are the best tool we have for understanding how an examiner is likely to approach an issue and an argument solidly based on their content is unlikely to be dismissed.
In a series of articles, we examine the changes, and how these may impact practice.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.