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Case Law of the Boards of Appeal

 
 
1.1. Amendments made to Article 53 EPC as part of the EPC 2000 revision

As part of the EPC 2000 revision, several amendments were made to Art. 53 EPC. However, these are unlikely to affect the EPO's practice (see OJ SE 4/2007): Art. 53(a) EPC was brought into line with Art. 27(2) TRIPs and Art. 6(1) of Directive 98/44/EC on the legal protection of biological inventions ("Biotech Directive"). In the German version, moreover, the term "Tierarten" in Art. 53(b) EPC 1973 was replaced by "Tierrassen" to bring it into line with the EC Directive and R. 23c(b) EPC 1973 (MR/2/00, 45).

In addition, the exclusion of medical methods which had previously been enshrined in Art. 52(4) EPC 1973 was transferred to Art. 53 EPC. These methods had formerly been excluded from patentability through the legal fiction that they were not susceptible of industrial application. However, since medical methods are excluded from patentability mainly in the light of public health considerations, it appeared appropriate to include these inventions also under exceptions to patentability (MR/2/00, 45).