Posts by: Malin Gullstrand Bergh | (1) posts

There is no such thing as luck; there is only adequate or inadequate preparation to cope with a statistical universe

Required study preparations before our fourth lesson of the EQE Basic program concern the topics “Rights Conferred” and “Inventive step”, and include 25 Articles, 14 Rules, two Protocols and a number of Enlarged Board of Appeal decisions.

Browsing through the material, I realize that while my copy of “The Annotated European Patent Convention” uses a mere five lines to spell out Article 56 per se, it uses another nine hundred, ballpark, to cover the annotations. And that’s just one of the 25 Articles to be read.   

The annotations to Article 56 cover e.g. the “Person skilled in the art”, and further the expected knowledge, abilities and impediments of such a person. 

I have been working in the IP business for some considerable time. I know that “the skilled person” in the sense of Article 56 is a hypothetical person; an intellectual tool for the mind; a means to establish a level of obviousness necessary to assess inventive step.

I didn’t know, however, that the Paris Convention is not formally binding upon the EPO.

Since “EPC is clearly intended not to contravene the basic principles concerning priority laid down in the Paris Convention” (G 3/93), this specific ignorance on my part has not had any practical consequences in the past, luckily.

The priority right, the right to the patent application, the inventor’s right to be mentioned and the right to the patent – all these examples of rights are more or less related, but each right is still unique and separate from the others. They arise at different points in time, due to different events, under different Articles of the EPC.

Now, I would like to be able to say that I am lucky enough to  e n j o y  reading Enlarged Board of Appeal decisions concerning rights, but, honestly, I can’t. Decisions of the Enlarged Board of Appeal are just not written to be enjoyable.

You can tell from the lay-out.

I read them anyway, however, and I am finding that, having read them, I enjoy discussing the concerned subject matter, both with my fellow EQE Basic participants, as we help each other out with the preparations, as well as during the discussions in class.  

So when I enjoy our discussions regarding rights conferred, it’s not due to luck, its due to adequate preparation. And that makes perfect sense for the future.

I’m not going to be lucky enough to pass the European Qualifying Exam.

I am going to be adequately prepared to pass.

Malin Gullstrand-Bergh, Patent Attorney

Footnote: Title from “Have space suit – Will travel” by Robert A. Heinlein 1958