5.1. General principles

It must be possible to reproduce a claimed step using the original application documents without any inventive effort over and above the ordinary skills of a practitioner (T 10/86). Where an applicant did not furnish details of the production process in the description in order to prevent the invention from being copied easily and the missing information could not be supplied from the general knowledge of a person skilled in the art, the invention was held to be insufficiently disclosed (T 219/85, OJ 1986, 376).

In T 1164/11 the board was not aware of a known physical mechanism according to which light was able to push molecules of a medicament, contained in the matrix of a solidified medicamentous solution, into the skin. The board had serious doubts regarding the claimed interaction of the (laser light) energy emitter with the molecules and the claimed result of penetration of the molecules into the skin. The appellant (applicant) admitted that there might be a lack of scientific explanation, but stated that nevertheless a "surprising effect" was achievable with the claimed device "without knowing the real phenomena occurring in the skin". The board accepted that it might not be possible to provide a scientifically sound explanation and that the invention might still be sufficiently disclosed if such an unexpected effect was convincingly demonstrated. However, the original application was devoid of any test results or experimental evidence that could give an indication of light-induced enhancement of penetration of medicament molecules into the skin.

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