November 15, 2004

A Patent Lather

The European Patent Office put on a stimulating and interesting meeting in The Hague last week. Apart from the wide ranging overview of nanotechnology from the cream of Europe's scientists and industrialists (MNT fans will be noticed that nanobots did get a mention, though only as an example of the gulf between myth and reality).

We speculated last week whether a single patent examiner could accumulate the knowledge required to make a rational decion about nanotechnology. Amd the good news is that he may call for help. We are grateful to various members of the EPO for digging out the following justification:

Case law 4th edition 2001, page 111: T141/87, T99/89 and many others: "in appropriate circumstances, however, the knowledge of a team consisting of persons having different areas of expertise can be taken into account" (for assessing inventive step).

While not a perfect solution to the problems facing (nano) patent examiners it does, at least in Europe, allow then to call for backup.

Posted by Cientifica at November 15, 2004 08:13 AM | TrackBack
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