1.3. Absolute and relative patentability requirements

In T 154/04, OJ 2008, 46, the board indicated that the examination of whether there was an invention within the meaning of Art. 52(1) to (3) EPC 1973 should be strictly separated from and not confused with the examination of the other three patentability requirements referred to in Art. 52(1) EPC 1973. It distinguished the concept of "invention" as a general and absolute requirement of patentability from the relative criteria, novelty and inventive step, (which, in an ordinary popular sense, were understood to be the attributes of any invention), and the requirement of industrial applicability. Decisive for the presence of a (potentially patentable) invention was the inherent character of the claimed subject-matter.

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