4. Evaluation of evidence
- T 3000/19
When a video retrieved from the internet is used as prior-art evidence for refusing a patent application, its content, in a form suitable for reviewing the decision, and metadata evidence demonstrating when and how it was made available to the public should be preserved and made accessible over time to interested parties and judicial bodies
- T 42/19
1. A boards' power to review appealed decisions is not limited to points of law but extends to points of facts (in agreement with T 1604/16). 2. However, it is settled case law that a board is not obliged to take all the evidence anew and that parties do not have the right to have the taking of evidence repeated at their request before the board. 3. The principle of free evaluation of evidence, meaning that there are no firm rules on the probative value of the various types of evidence but that the deciding body is entrusted with weighing up all the evidence and basing its decision on what it is then satisfied has been established, implies a degree of freedom comparable to the one referred to by the Enlarged Board of Appeal in decision G 7/93, Reasons 2.6. 4. Thus, it is wise to similarly respect this freedom, especially when taking into account that a board, except when only reviewing documentary evidence, does not have the same first-hand impression of the probative value of a means of evidence as a department of first instance that has itself heard a witness or expert or inspected an object. 5. Although the Board is not limited in its decision, it normally seems useful to apply the test set out in decision T 1418/17, Reasons 1.3: Unless the law has been misapplied (e.g. application of the wrong standard of proof), a board of appeal should overrule a department of first instance's evaluation of evidence and replace it with its own only if it is apparent from that department's evaluation that it: (i) disregarded essential points, (ii) also considered irrelevant matters or (iii) violated the laws of thought, for instance in the form of logical errors and contradictions in its reasoning. 6. The evaluation of evidence only refers to establishing whether an alleged fact has been proven to the satisfaction of the deciding body. The discretion-like freedom is restricted to this question and does not extend to the further question of how the established facts are to be interpreted and what the legal consequences are. (see Reasons 3.2 to 3.6).
- T 1708/18
1. The issue of which standard of disclosure applies when assessing the legal question of novelty and the issue of which standard of proof applies when assessing evidence and factual questions are distinct and unrelated. The fact that the standard of disclosure required for a finding of lack of novelty (or for allowing an amendment to the application under Article 123(2) EPC) is the standard of a direct and unambiguous disclosure is immaterial for the question of what standard of proof applies when considering evidence and factual issues in the context of novelty (or inventive step) (see point 16). 2. The standard of proof generally applied at the EPO for deciding on an issue of fact is the balance of probabilities. According to this standard, the EPO must base its decisions on statements of fact which, based on the available evidence, are more likely than not to be true. This standard also applies when examining factual issues in the context of novelty (see point 14).
- G 2/21
I. Evidence submitted by a patent applicant or proprietor to prove a technical effect relied upon for acknowledgement of inventive step of the claimed subject-matter may not be disregarded solely on the ground that such evidence, on which the effect rests, had not been public before the filing date of the patent in suit and was filed after that date.
II. A patent applicant or proprietor may rely upon a technical effect for inventive step if the skilled person, having the common general knowledge in mind, and based on the application as originally filed, would derive said effect as being encompassed by the technical teaching and embodied by the same originally disclosed invention.