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Case Law of the Boards of Appeal

 
 
1.1.2 Cases involving language issues

In T 382/94 (OJ 1998, 24) a European patent application was filed with a description and claims in German, accompanied by 25 drawings. Three of the drawings contained so-called flow sheets with text matter in English. The application was published in this form. The amendment of the application, based on the English-language text matter in the drawings as filed, did not represent an infringement of Art. 123(2) EPC 1973 (see Chapter III.F. "Language regime").

In T 605/93 the board held that where the application documents of the European application as filed were a translation of the international application as it was filed, the content of the "application as filed" was that of the international application as it was filed. In all normal circumstances, it ought however to be assumed that the published European application was identical in content with the published international application (decision recently cited in e.g. T 1402/09).

In T 287/98, the original application in Dutch contained the word "schroot", which means scrap metal, as substantiated by the copies of various dictionaries provided by the appellant. According to the board, this word was not correctly translated into English and nothing other than "scrap metal" was meant in the application as originally filed. The board further decided that the replacement of the word "scrap" by "scrap metal" was allowable under Art. 123(2) EPC 1973 since Art. 70(2) EPC 1973 provided that in a case referred to in Art. 14(2) EPC 1973, i.e. in which the European patent application was filed in a language of a contracting state other than English, French or German, the original text had to be taken into account in proceedings before the European Patent Office, in order to determine whether the subject­matter of the application extended beyond the content of the application as filed.