Quick Navigation

 

European Patent Convention (EPC 1973)

 
 
A revised version of the European Patent Convention entered into force on 13 December 2007. The provisions of the revised Convention apply unless the transitional provisions provide for the applicability of the EPC 1973.

Article 69 43/44

Extent of protection

Art. 2, 164



(1) The extent of the protection conferred by a European patent or a European patent application shall be determined by the terms of the claims. Nevertheless, the description and drawings shall be used to interpret the claims.


(2) For the period up to grant of the European patent, the extent of the protection conferred by the European patent application shall be determined by the latest filed claims contained in the publication under Article 93. However, the European patent as granted or as amended in opposition proceedings shall determine retroactively the protection conferred by the European patent application, in so far as such protection is not thereby extended.



43 See Protocol on the Interpretation of Article 69 of the Convention, adopted at the Munich Diplomatic Conference for the setting up of a European System for the Grant of Patents on 5 October 1973, as set out below:

"Article 69 should not be interpreted in the sense that the extent of the protection conferred by a European patent is to be understood as that defined by the strict, literal meaning of the wording used in the claims, the description and drawings being employed only for the purpose of resolving an ambiguity found in the claims. Neither should it be interpreted in the sense that the claims serve only as a guideline and that the actual protection conferred may extend to what, from a consideration of the description and drawings by a person skilled in the art, the patentee has contemplated. On the contrary, it is to be interpreted as defining a position between these extremes which combines a fair protection for the patentee with a reasonable degree of certainty for third parties."

(The Protocol shall be an integral part of the Convention pursuant to Article 164, paragraph 1.)

44 See decisions of the Enlarged Board of Appeal G 2/88, G 6/88 (Annex I).

Cross-reference list
Art. 69 Art. 69