Patent Protection for Surgical Methods Under the European Patent Convention —The Opinion of the Enlarged Board of Appeal G 1/07

Patent Protection for Surgical Methods Under the European Patent Convention —The Opinion of the Enlarged Board of Appeal G 1/07

 

Title
Patent Protection for Surgical Methods Under the European Patent Convention —The Opinion of the Enlarged Board of Appeal G 1/07
Author
Hsiao-Fen Hsu
Keywords
Exclusion of Patent Protection, Exclusion for Methods of Medical Treatment, Surgical Method, European Patent Convention, Public Health
Abstract
Under article 53(c) of the European Patent Convention (the “EPC”) 2000,
methods for medical or veterinary treatment, namely therapeutic, surgical and diagnostic
methods, are excluded from patent protection. Considering the difficulty
to find a balance between the interests of public health and of patients, specially
freeing the medical profession from constraints which would be imposed on them
by patents granted on method of medical treatment, and the proper patent protection
for these medical related inventions, the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the
European Patent Office has delineated the boundaries of the exclusion to insure the
necessary legal certainty by two recent decisions G 1/04 and G 1/07. This article
attempts to analyze these recent decisions by considering the definition and the
scope of the exclusion of surgical methods in the light of the ratio legis of Article
53(c) EPC. By doing so, some suggestions could be given to TIPO, in hope of more consistent in their interpretation of the exclusion of methods of medical
treatment.
Abstract Article

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