BOARDS OF APPEAL
Information from the Enlarged Board of Appeal
Referrals by boards of appeal
(Language of the proceedings)
1. Is an amendment to a claim by the introduction of a disclaimer unallowable under Article 123(2) EPC for the sole reason that neither the disclaimer nor the subject-matter excluded by it from the scope of the claim have a basis in the application as filed?
2. If the answer to question 1 is no, which criteria are to be applied in order to determine whether or not a disclaimer is allowable?
(b) Is it necessary that the subject-matter excluded by the disclaimer be strictly confined to that disclosed in a particular piece of prior art?
(c) Is it of relevance whether the disclaimer is needed to make the claimed subject-matter novel over the prior art?
(d) Is the criterion applicable that the disclosure must be accidental, as established by prior jurisprudence, and, if yes, when is a disclosure to be regarded as being accidental, or
(e) is the approach to be applied that a disclaimer which is confined to disclaiming the prior art and has not been disclosed in the application as filed is allowable under Article 123(2) EPC, but that the examination of the subject-matter claimed for the presence of an inventive step has then to be carried out as if the disclaimer did not exist?
The case is pending as G 1/03.