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Case Law of the Boards of Appeal

 
 
6.3.6 Scope of protection not defined with regard to infringement

In T 442/91 the respondents wanted the board to rule on the extent of the protection conferred by what they considered to be broad claims. The board, however, felt that it should not concern itself in opposition appeal proceedings with the extent of the protection conferred by a patent (except for the purposes of Art. 123(3) EPC 1973), as this was the responsibility of the national courts dealing with infringement cases. Whilst the EPO made it clear how terms of art used in the claims should be understood, it should not proffer any further interpretation of the patent's future scope beyond that (see also T 740/96).

In line with this thinking, the board in T 439/92 and T 62/92 interpreted the claims with a view to identifying their subject-matter.