INFORMATION FROM THE CONTRACTING / EXTENSION STATES
Decision of the Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Court of Justice), 10th Civil Senate, dated 12 May 1992
(X ZB 11/90)*
Headword: Chrom-Nickel-Legierung (Chrome-nickel alloy)
Section 26(1), sentence 4, PatG (Patent Law) 1968, Section 35(2) PatG 1981
Keyword: "Disclosure of ranges of quantities in alloy inventions - significance of limits indicated in patent claims"
1. Quantity ranges defined by limits for components of an alloy comprise all possible variations within the given limits, i.e. even combinations that are not individually specified in figures, provided that the characteristic properties of the alloy are preserved. If from the skilled person's point of view the alloy claimed is clearly described in terms of substance and quantity in the application documents, all possible variations are disclosed regardless of the significance of the individual components for the properties of the alloy.
2. For the purposes of patent law the only significance of limiting a quantity range for components of an alloy is to define the extent of protection claimed. When a particular range is specified, all intermediate values lying within those limits and any subsets whatsoever formed therefrom are disclosed (follow-up to BGHZ 111, 21 = GRUR 1990, 510 - Crackkatalysator I).
* Translation of the official headnote. The full text of the decision is reported in GRUR 1992, 842; Mitt. 1992, 247; Blatt für PMZ 1993, 59.