In accordance with Art. 10(2)(a) of the European Patent Convention (EPC), the President of the European Patent Office (EPO) adopted, effective as at 1 June 1978, the Guidelines for Examination in the European Patent Office. By decision of the President dated 28 July 2015 the Guidelines have been amended pursuant to Art. 10(2) EPC in accordance with the policy of revising them annually. The version in force at the time of this case law report's publication is the November 2015 edition (available online at , and this is the only valid official version as from 1 November 2015 (OJ 2015, A74, concerning updating of the Guidelines). Please note that the Guidelines do not constitute legal provisions. For the ultimate authority on practice at the EPO reference should be made firstly to the EPC itself, including the Implementing Regulations, and secondly to the interpretation put upon the EPC by the boards of appeal and the Enlarged Board of Appeal (Guidelines, General Part, 3 "General remarks" – November 2015 version). Apart from important issues relating to interlocutory revision, the Guidelines do not deal with the appeals procedure (Guidelines, General Part, 5 "Survey of the processing of applications and patents" – November 2015 version).
It should be borne in mind that the edition of the Guidelines referred to in the following abstracts of board decisions is that applied by the board in question and may have been worded differently from the November 2015 version.