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Guidelines for Examination

In opposition proceedings 

The proprietor of the patent should, where this is not obvious, indicate the points in the original application documents or claims of the granted patent from which the amendments may be derived (Art. 100(c) and Art. 123(2)). In addition, he should file observations as regards the patentability of the subject-matter of the patent as amended (with reference to Art. 100(a) and (b)), taking into account the state of the art and objections raised in the opposition notice together, where appropriate, with the evidence presented in support.

Opposition is not an opportunity to re-examine the whole patent; it is the amendments introduced into the patent which must be examined as to whether they comply with the EPC as a whole (see T 227/88, T 301/87 and T 472/88). Therefore the Opposition Division should check that the patent, by the amendments themselves, does not contravene the requirements of the EPC (with the exception of Art. 82, see G 1/91 and D-V, 2). With respect to Art. 84, see D-V, 5. For the form of amended documents, see H-III, 2.2 to 2.4. It should be noted that the formal requirements, in particular Rules 30 to 34 and Rules 42, 43, 46, 48 and 50, must be satisfied (see Rule 86).