Prior Art.Patent granted on existing formulas and applications methods.

Here you can find announcements regarding the EPO's patent information products and services, events and activities.

Please also feel free to ask questions and share information on general patent information matters.
Post Reply

Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:15 am

Prior Art.Patent granted on existing formulas and applications methods.

Post by Sophia@ned » Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:08 am

The question was asked here before, but not extensive enough. The sequence of a patent application should be the other way around. How is it possible that a patent is granted with an overload of prior art. Is there no research done by the EPO?
The Opposition period of 9 months is way to short and should be permanent to avoid that patent trolls use legal tactics to enforce their so called rights. So what to do if you find out that for instance: company A in has been granted a patent with an overload of prior art? That company A even uses parts of an abandoned patent from company B (the biggest company in Germany) which abandoned the patent because of prior art. :? So what is a patent worth if any troll can get one.

EPO / Patent Information
Posts: 470
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 3:36 pm

Re: Prior Art.Patent granted on existing formulas and applications methods.

Post by EPO / Patent Information » Fri Sep 22, 2017 6:36 am

The patent granting process is regulated by the European Patent Convention together with its Implementing Regulations. The Implementing Regulations in Rules 61-65 EPC regulate the content and purpose of the European search report. In particular Rule 61 EPC describes that a European search report should mention all prior art documents relevant for assessing the novelty and inventive step of the application in question. Therefore, overload of prior art does not automatically mean that a patent cannot be granted. The prior art cited in European search reports informs the public about the findings done by a technically qualified examiner. It is also used during examination. The aim of the examination to establish subject-matter that meets the patentability criteria set in the European Patent Convention taking into account the prior art found.

In the EPO, for every application a search report is established according to the European Patent Convention.

Concerning patent trolls and opposition period. Indeed the opposition period in the European Patent Convention is set to 9 months. There were sound reasons to have a limited opposition time to be dealt centrally in the EPO. Probably the main reason why the legislator decided to limit opposition period was to allow smooth transition to national validations after the expiry of the opposition period. However, other reasons could also be envisaged. Indeed, it is true that in certain jurisdictions the opposition period is much longer or even unlimited.

We hope the answer provided is of assistance to you.
Kind regards,

The Patent Information User Support Team

Post Reply