European Round-Table on Patent Practice (EUROTAB)
1. Referral G 1/15 ("Partial priority") is pending before the Enlarged Board of Appeal. The questions referred seek, in particular, to clarify how Article 88(2), second sentence, EPC is to be applied in the light of the Enlarged Board's decision G 2/98 in cases where a claim encompasses, without spelling them out, alternative subject-matters having all the features of the claim (known as a generic "OR"-claim), and whether parent and divisional applications may be prior art under Article 54(3) EPC against one another in respect of subject-matter disclosed in a priority application but not entitled to priority. All five questions referred to the Enlarged Board can be found in decision T 557/13. [ 1 ]
2. The President of the EPO has decided that, in view of the potential impact of the referral, all proceedings before EPO examining and opposition divisions in which the decision depends entirely on its outcome will be stayed ex officio until the Enlarged Board issues its decision.
3. This concerns cases in which
4. If proceedings are stayed, the examining or opposition division concerned will inform the parties accordingly. At the same time, it will withdraw any communications setting them time limits to react, and will despatch no further such communications until the Enlarged Board has given its decision, whereupon a communication will be issued concerning the resumption of proceedings.
5. The present notice is immediately applicable but limited to those cases affected by referral G 1/15.