8.1.2 Non-therapeutic treatment of animals

In decision T 582/88 the board applied the principles set out in decision G 2/88 in slightly different circumstances. The invention's subject-matter was a method of non-therapeutic treatment of animals for the purpose of improving their milk production and comprising oral administration of a propionate-increasing amount of glycopeptide antibiotics. In the board's view the technical effect produced by the invention – in this case an improvement in milk production – was new and had to be construed as a new technical feature sufficient to make the invention novel. The claim's subject-matter was a method of non-therapeutic treatment of animals, not – as in decision G 2/88 – use of a known product to achieve a new effect (see also T 848/93).

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