2.4.5 Deletion of a drawing

In T 2259/09, whilst the patent as granted comprised a set of Figures, in the amended patent according to the main request all drawings were deleted to comply with the requirements of Art. 123(2) EPC, and the description was correspondingly adapted. Concerning the examination of Art. 123(3) EPC, with the deletion of the drawings from the patent specification, technical information was undoubtedly lost. Whilst this loss of information might also introduce some uncertainties about certain details of the preferred embodiments depicted in the drawings, it could not be concluded, as in the impugned decision, that it automatically broadened the protection conferred. In the case at issue, the claims were not limited to any of the details, dimensions or features specifically depicted in the (deleted) drawings. Moreover, under Art. 69(1) EPC, reference to the drawings of a patent specification may be helpful or even necessary if an ambiguity exists in the granted claim. However, in the case at issue, the impugned decision did not identify any such ambiguity; nor could the board see any. Therefore, the deletion of the drawings did not extend the scope of the protection conferred by the main request.

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