Quick Navigation

 

Case Law of the Boards of Appeal

 
 
C. Sufficiency of disclosure

 

  

Art. 83 EPC stipulates that the application shall (previously 'must') disclose the invention in a manner sufficiently clear and complete for it to be carried out by a person skilled in the art.

The subject-matter of an application must be sufficiently disclosed at the date of the application (1.), based on the application as a whole (2.), including examples (4.3), and taking into account the common general knowledge of the skilled person (3.). At least one way of enabling the person skilled in the art to carry out the invention must be disclosed (4.2), but this is sufficient only if it allows the invention to be performed in the whole range claimed (4.4). Parameters must be sufficiently defined (4.5). The disclosure must also be reproducible without undue burden (5.); evidence for this from post-published documents is allowable under certain circumstances (5.4).

The distinction between the requirements for sufficiency of disclosure under Art. 83 EPC and clarity of the claims under Art. 84 EPC (7.) is important, as examination in respect of the requirements of Art. 83 EPC is still permitted during opposition proceedings, whereas in respect of Art. 84 EPC it is limited to cases where there has been an amendment.

The burden of proof generally lies with the opponent to establish that an invention is insufficiently disclosed (8.).

Sufficiency of disclosure as applied in biotechnology is considered in 6., including the issue of broad claims (6.1.2).