Features of inventions have to contribute to the technical character

Print this page 26-09-2002
IPPT20020926, TBA-EPO, COMVIK

PATENT LAW

 

Invention can only be made up of those features which contribute to technical character
 

"6.  Further, where a feature cannot be considered as contributing to the solution of any technical problem by providing a technical effect it has no significance for the purpose of assessing inventive step."

 

Formulation technical problem: non-technical feauture of claim may legitimately appear in the formulation of the problem

 

"7. The technical problem should not be formulated to refer to matters of which the skilled person would only have become aware by knowledge of the solution now claimed. Such formulation of the problem involving inadmissible hindsight of the solution must be avoided by reformulation of the technical problem to be solved. Thus a problem should not contain pointers to the solu-tion or partially anticipate it. However, in the Board's view this principle applies to those aspects of the sub-ject matter claimed which contribute to the technical character of the invention and hence are part of the technical solution. Merely because some feature ap-pears in the claim does not automatically exclude it from appearing in the formulation of the problem. In particular where the claim refers to an aim to be achieved in a non-technical field, this aim may legiti-mately appear in the formulation of the problem as part of the framework of the technical problem that is to be solved, in particular as a constraint that has to be met."


IPPT20020926, TBA-EPO, COMVIK

 

T 0641/00 - 3.5.1