The Enlarged Board noted inter alia that although unity of invention under Art. 82 EPC 1973
was a material requirement, it was still merely an administrative regulation. It served a number of administrative purposes, particularly in demarcating the respective responsibilities of the departments. The administrative purposes of unity were fulfilled in the main up to the time the patent was granted. The purpose and intention of opposition proceedings was to give a competitor the opportunity of opposing unjustified protective rights. Since this served the competitor's interests, he did not also need to be given the opportunity of contesting a patent on the ground of lack of unity. Lack of unity did not in fact rule out patent protection; it could only result in an application being divided to produce two or more patents.