2.4. Exhibition priority

In T 382/07 it was held that an exhibition priority could not be validly claimed for a European application or patent. The board stated that the possibility of recognising exhibition priorities internationally followed from Art. 11 Paris Convention. Its provisions allowed Paris Union member countries to recognise exhibition priorities in their domestic law under certain conditions but did not oblige them to do so. Entitlement to claim an exhibition priority was to be decided on the basis of the national law of the country where protection and priority were claimed, i.e. for a European application or patent the EPC, and not the law of the country where the exhibition took place or a first application claiming the exhibition priority was filed. Since the EPC did not recognise exhibition priorities, any priority claim based on an invention disclosure at an exhibition must fail in the case in hand.

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