EUROPEAN PATENT CONVENTION 1973: PART II - SUBSTANTIVE PATENT LAW, Chapter I - Patentability, Article 54 - Novelty

Article 54 30


Art. 52, 55, 56, 80, 85, 89, 100, 138, 158
R. 27, 44, 87

(1) An invention shall be considered to be new if it does not form part of the state of the art.

(2) The state of the art shall be held to comprise everything made available to the public by means of a written or oral description, by use, or in any other way, before the date of filing of the European patent application.

(3) Additionally, the content of European patent applications as filed, of which the dates of filing are prior to the date referred to in paragraph 2 and which were published under Article 93 on or after that date, shall be considered as comprised in the state of the art.

(4) Paragraph 3 shall be applied only in so far as a Contracting State designated in respect of the later application, was also designated in respect of the earlier application as published.

(5) The provisions of paragraphs 1 to 4 shall not exclude the patentability of any substance or composition, comprised in the state of the art, for use in a method referred to in Article 52, paragraph 4, provided that its use for any method referred to in that paragraph is not comprised in the state of the art.

30 See decisions/opinions of the Enlarged Board of Appeal G 1/83, G 5/83, G 6/83, G 2/88, G 6/88, G 1/92, G 3/93, G 1/98, G 2/98, G 3/98, G 2/99, G 1/03, G 2/03 (Annex I).

Cross-reference list
Art. 54(4) -
Art. 54(5) Art. 54(4)

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