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The European Patent Convention

 
 

Article 54[ 42 ], [ 43 ]
Novelty

(1)
An invention shall be considered to be new if it does not form part of the state of the art. 
(2)
The state of the art shall be held to comprise everything made available to the public by means of a written or oral description, by use, or in any other way, before the date of filing of the European patent application. 
(3)
Additionally, the content of European patent applications as filed, the dates of filing of which are prior to the date referred to in paragraph 2 and which were published on or after that date, shall be considered as comprised in the state of the art.
(4)
Paragraphs 2 and 3 shall not exclude the patentability of any substance or composition, comprised in the state of the art, for use in a method referred to in Article 53(c), provided that its use for any such method is not comprised in the state of the art.
Paragraphs 2 and 3 shall also not exclude the patentability of any substance or composition referred to in paragraph 4 for any specific use in a method referred to in Article 53(c), provided that such use is not comprised in the state of the art.
 
Amended by the Act revising the European Patent Convention of 29.11.2000. 
See decisions/opinions of the Enlarged Board of Appeal G 2/88, G 6/88, G 1/92, G 3/93, G 1/98, G 2/98, G 3/98, G 2/99, G 1/03, G 2/03, G 2/08 of 19.02.2010 (Annex I).
See the notice from the EPO concerning the non-acceptance of Swiss-type claims following decision G 2/08 of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (OJ EPO 2010, 514).
References

Art. 53, 55, 56, 80, 85, 89, 100, 138, 153
R. 40, 42, 61, 138, 165

 
Cross-reference list
EPC EPC 1973
Art. 54(4)Art. 54(5)
Art. 54(5)Art. 54(5)