In T 245/91
the appellants (patent proprietors) contested the respondent's lack of novelty objection in the light of the disclosure in a prior document. They contended that the subject-matter of claim 1 amounted to the purposeful selection of a small area from the very broad disclosure in the said document. The board observed that most of the ranges in claim 1 of the patent in suit could be obtained by narrowing down the ranges according to the cited document by approximately 25 to 80% and restricting them to their central portion, and that in a situation like this, where several ranges of parameters were to be considered, a careful comparison had to be carried out in order to assess whether or not the subject-matter of the claimed invention was available to the skilled person. Any obviousness considerations were to be strictly avoided. Referring to T 666/89
(OJ 1993, 495), the board emphasised that, under the Convention, novelty had to be decided by reference to the total information content of a cited prior art document. In the board's judgment, the combination of the relevant features would not have been seriously contemplated by the skilled reader and was not made available to him, because the said features were not prominent in the cited document and did not therefore lend themselves to an unambiguous, implicit disclosure. A further point to consider was the number of parameters used to define the claimed subject-matter, since each of the ethylene polymers was characterised by several parameters. The board held that, even if most of the ranges for these parameters corresponded to a more or less central portion of the range which limited the corresponding parameter in the composition according to the cited document, as a result of the number of parameters involved, which exceeded ten, the scope of the claimed blends was in reality quite narrow with regard to the breadth of the definition of the known composition. This was also the reason why the argument that there had been an implicit description of this narrow selection in the prior document was not accepted.