29 October 2021
The SACEPO Working Party on Guidelines (SACEPO/WPG) met on 28 October to discuss the latest draft EPC and PCT-EPO Guidelines, which will come into effect in March 2022, with a preview version available as from February.
During the constructive dialogue consensus was found on many different aspects of the procedures before the EPO, including changes relating to inventions on artificial intelligence - a topic the Office would like to expand upon in the Guidelines for 2023. All participants were very satisfied with the outcome of the discussions.
One remaining topic, namely the adaptation of the description, will be dealt with separately in a dedicated workshop on 4 November 2021 and in a follow-up meeting with Working Party members.
The Working Party also agreed to focus future discussions (for the Guidelines 2023) on e.g. digital processes, computer-implemented inventions (CII) and artificial intelligence (AI), opposition procedures and clarity as well as inventive step. The PCT-EPO Guidelines 2023 will reflect i.a. on representation issues.
The Guidelines are revised annually taking into account decisions of the Boards of Appeal and the Enlarged Board of Appeal, comments received during the user consultation conducted in spring 2021 as well as the feedback of the SACEPO Working Party on Guidelines.