This supplementary publication of the Official Journal follows on from the "Case Law from the Contracting States to the EPC 2004 – 2011" and covers the years 2011 – 2014. The European National Patent Decisions Report (2004) was the first such compilation by the Legal Research Service of the Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office. It contains a selection of interesting cases, handed down by the courts of the EPC contracting states, all of which have been summarised.
This edition of the Case Law from the Contracting States to the EPC 2011 – 2014 contains summaries of 99 selected decisions from 11 different EPC contracting states, handed down during that time. They have been selected for their significance regarding substantive patent law, and are arranged according to topic and country of provenance. Aspects of harmonisation, patents subject to dispute in several jurisdictions, as well as some institutional issues were also taken into account in making and presenting it. Decisions referring to the case law of the boards of appeal or engaging with the EPO's approach in a significant way were also included.
Of course, this publication makes no claim to be complete, as there are certain constraints of language and of access, even in the digital age. Similarly, a summary will never be able to do justice to a decision in full, since neither its depth in all its nuances, nor its breadth, including all the issues touched on, can be accurately reflected in such brevity. However, every effort has been made to make this report into a representative overview of interesting decisions from 2011 to 2014.
I wish to thank the members of the Legal Research Service of the Boards of Appeal (Dept. 3.0.30) for their efforts in producing this report. I would also like to thank the Language Service, for their invaluable support in making this trilingual supplementary publication of the Official Journal possible, as well as all the other EPO staff who have helped produce this publication.
Wim van der Eijk