Further, the grant of a European patent in respect of a diagnostic method which included preceding method steps of a technical nature carried out by a device did not contravene Art. 52(4) EPC 1973
, because the performance of the respective method steps did not satisfy the criterion "practised on the human or animal body". However, in the event of patent protection, it would normally be sufficient to purchase the device in question in order to be entitled to carry out such a method. In cases where the same diagnostic conclusions could be reached by a method not including the use of the device, those carrying it out would not be inhibited by the patent. Therefore, medical or veterinary practitioners could not be considered to be hampered by the existence of such a patent.