What can and cannot be patented is in principle set out in the law, such as the European Patent Convention, but in practice the guidelines given to examiners determine where the boundaries lie.
An important new draft of these guidelines from the European Patent Office has been issued, which can be previewed here, and come into force on 1 March 2023. This gives practitioners like ourselves a head start in understanding the new boundaries and how best to steer patent applications through the system. Important contributions in these European Patent Office Guidelines are regarding the Unified Patent Court (UPC), which we reported in an earlier post, for which the 3 month sunrise period for opting out of the UPC jurisdiction begins on 1 March 2023.
Another important part is a proposed new ability to file corrections for errors in the application documents. As previously it was only possible to remedy parts of documents that were simply omitted. Whilst we hope that we never have to use such provisions for clients they are very useful if they are needed