Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Ranges and purposive selection

Amongst candidates for the EQE C paper of 2010 a lot of discusion is going on about how to attack the ranges in claims 4 and 5. Is it possible to do a novelty attack or do we need inventive step (workshop modification, equivalent alternative or maybe a second document). Today I will give you some advice about how to deal with ranges in the exam (in your daily patent work, you should do the same).

The situation in the exam was as follows:
- Claim 4: 1 mm - 3 mm
- Claim 5(4): less than 1.8 mm (thus 1 mm - 1.8 mm)
- A3: 0.1 mm - 20 mm, 0.5 mm - 2.5 mm and 1.5 mm - 2 mm
- A4: 0.1 mm - 20 mm
- A6: 0.1 mm - 4 mm, 0.9 mm - 4 mm and 0.1 (and/or 0.9) mm - 2 mm

The relevant part of the Guidelines is GL C-IV 9.8 (ii) which gives three criteria for considering a sub-range selected from a broader numerical range to be novel. A selected sub-range is only novel when it is:
(a) narrow with respect to the known range and
(b) far removed from specifically disclosed examples in and the end points of the known range and
(c) not an arbitrary specimen of the prior art, but another invention (purposive selection, new technical teaching)

The first two criteria are not very clear and are usually only used for additional arguments. When a sub-range provides a new technical teaching, it is also considered narrow and far removed. When there is no new technical effect, the sub-range is too broad and too close. In the exam situation, we thus have to find out whether the claimed ranges provide a previously unknown technical effect.

There is only one way of finding the answer to that question. You have to look into Annex 1 to find the technical effect of the claimed range and you have to read all documents for finding the technical effect of the already known range. The effect of the broader range is not necessarily disclosed in the prior art with this range. It may, e.g., also be described in Annex 1. When you compare these two effects, you know whether the claimed range is another invention or not.

In Annex 1, we find the following:
- [0012]: 1 mm - 3 mm => can be expelled over a greater distance
- [0013]: 1 mm - 1.8 mm => no liquid can percolate through the housing

In the prior art, we find the following:
- Annex 3, [0008]: 0.5 mm - 2.5 mm => the distance reached by the spray is maximized
- Annex 3, [0009]: less than 2.0 mm => impervious to liquids
- Annex 4, [0004]: 0.1 mm - 20 mm => dispensed over a greater distance
- Annex 6, [0005]: 0.9 mm - 4 mm => optimum diffusion (at same pressure as used in Annex 1)
- Annex 6, [0006]: more than 2.0 mm => permeable for liquids
- Annex 6, [0006]: more than 4.0 mm => too much diffusion, poor quality aerosol

When using A4 or A6 for an attack, [0004] of Annex 4 can be used for proving that over the whole range of 0.1 mm - 20 mm, the same effect is obtained as in the sub-range (1-3) claimed in Annex 1. The range claimed in claim 4 does not have a new technical effect or, at least, the inventor did not know about it. The claimed range is not a purposive selection and thus not novel in view of the ranges disclosed by A4 (0.1-20) or A6 (0.1-4).

Similar argumentation can be used for proving that the range in claim 5 is not novel. Here the proof is even provided by two documents, i.e. Annex 3, [0009] and Annex 6 [0006].

Note 1: This posting is only about novelty of claimed sub-ranges and not about novelty or inventiveness of complete claims. The analysis provided above is only part of the analysis you have to make to score full marks for the corresponding attacks.
Note 2: This is just an opinion of a tutor who tried to find and solve the important puzzles in the C exam of 2010. The award winning solution will not be known until it is published by the exam committee.

30 comments:

  1. Joeri - agree with the explanation of ceramic alternatives for claims 4 and 5, but for the plastic alternatives...

    I think that Deltapatents will be proved wrong in this case.

    Not just because i hope so for my exam paper, but i would be amazed that the examiners expected 4 novelty attacks for the 2 alternatives of claims 4 and 5 - testing the same thing twice?

    I honestly beleive that the examiners wanted to test if you decipher that a subrange could be NOVEL but still lack an inventive step

    A4 (nov/i.s.) for claims 4/5 (plastics) is a very broad range;
    A6 (novelty only) gor claims 4/5 (ceramic) is a much narrower range

    A1 states clearly that the spray distance is improved for the sub-range in comparision to sizes outside that narrow range

    The GL C-IV 9.8(ii)(c) clearly state that the NEW technical effect of the sub-range can be the same techncial effect broad range, but improved in the narrow range - this looks to me reading A1 like the scenario here.

    To be honest, I think the Examiners have laid a 'slight trap' because a lot of the training material commentary for the EQE requires that a sub-range must provide a 'new techncial effect' and leaves it at that (meaning that you find a lack of novelty for claims 4 & 5 (plastics).

    While in reality what is required by the GL is that the sub-range provides a new invention, which can be an improvement of a known effect in the subrange - explicitly stated to be true in the GL.

    so the ranges are novel over A4, but lack an inventive step in view of A4 (CPA) + A3.

    Finally - your last paragraph about claim 5? the comments about A6 are correct, but are you stating that claim 5 (plastics) lacks novelty over A4 because A3 discloses the techncial effect of the narrow subrange? That can't be correct - that is surely an Art 56 argument

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  2. I see 2 remarks/questions in your comment:

    1. "A1 states clearly that the spray distance is improved for the sub-range in comparision to sizes outside that narrow range"

    I don't think that in [0012] they try to suggest that 1-3 has an improved effect over 0.1-20. I do however agree that the wording may be somewhat confusing.

    The fact that they use exactly the same words for describing the effect as they do in Annex 4 gives me the impression that no new effect is obtained in the claimed sub-range. If 0.1 or 20 have a similar or equal effect as 1-3, those known examples can not be 'far removed'. Just looking in a known range for an optimum value of a known effect, cannot be considered an invention. That would at least require an unexpected optimum in an unexpected sub-range, which would require much more information in Annex 1.

    Of course we will have to wait until October before we know what the exam committee expected us to answer.

    2. "are you stating that claim 5 (plastics) lacks novelty over A4"

    No I'm not. The mere fact that the claimed range is not novel (I didn't say in view of which document), does not mean that the claim is not novel. Arguing novelty on a feature level is different from arguing that a claim is not novel. This post is more about how to deal with sub-ranges than about how to attack claims 4 and 5. Of course, we can't give away our complete analysis of the attacks for all claims. We have to save some arguments for the model solutions we try to sell :)

    However, to avoid confusion, I will add a further remark about the attacks on claim 5.

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  3. Joeri - please don't take my comment as an attack, it wasn't - as a person taking the EQE I appreciate the quality training DeltaPatents has provided.

    I also appreciate that I, or anyone else doesn't know the answer yet!...but paper C is the easiest to 'break' ahead of the examiner's comments as it's the most puzzle like

    That being said :) ... I still disagree with your analysis

    For point 1...

    My reading of [0012] of A1 is that the narrow range of 1 to 3 produces a spray expelled over a greater distance THAN WHEN CHOSEN OUTSIDE THIS RANGE - i took this to fulfil GL C-IV 9.8(ii)c because the GL state that "the tech effect of the sub-range may be the same effect as that attained by the broad range but to a greater extent"

    So the new technical teaching of A1 over the broad range of A4 is that the spray distance is maximised in the narrow subrange of 1-3, so the selection criteria is fulfilled.

    The point about the novelty of the feature of the range versus the claim as a whole is of course correct but anyway my question was really as follows:-

    A4 has a broad range
    Claim has a narrow range + new effect
    A3 has the narrow range of claim + same effect

    Is the claimed range not a novel selection over the broad range of A4 because A3 discloses the narrow range and same effect?

    because i thought you had to judge it against the broad range of A4 only (new in view of A4 or not) - dragging in A3 is making this inventive step isn't it?

    anyway thanks for replying to the post

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  4. One more explanation with regard to your first point (I think we agree on the second one). I know this sentence from the Guidelines, but there's also this one: "An effect occurring only in the claimed sub-range cannot in itself confer novelty on that sub-range."

    I think the choice of words in A1 was a little bit unlucky (however not incorrect). Every claimed range implicitly says: "I am better than the known ranges". However just stating that your range is better than the known range cannot make it an invention. You have to explain why and to what extent. You must teach the skilled person something new. A subrange can only be novel if there is a new technical teaching.

    A4 teaches a range (0.1-20) and an effect (greater distance). The skilled man expects the effect to be obtained over the whole range, probably to a lesser extent at its borders. The skilled man will also expect an optimum effect somewhere within that range. As long as the effect follows a 'normal' pattern, selecting a sub-range is nothing more than deciding on the tolerance range you accept. Without any additional information, the choice of borders 0.1 and 20 is just as arbitrary as 1 and 3. Maybe also 0.05 to 40 is good enough. The choice for a specific range only depends on technical requirements for the respective application.

    A sub-range can be novel (i.e. a new technical teaching) when it only obtains a known effect to a greater extent. A new technical teaching is however always required. A new technical teaching may, e.g., follow from an unexpectedly high peak value for the known effect (e.g. 10 in the known range, 100 in the claimed sub-range). A new technical teaching may also follow from a peak at an unexpected position (e.g. a known range of 0-100 with one peak at 50 and decreasing values closer to the borders, with a claimed second peak at 85).

    A1 teaches the known effect in an arbitrarily chosen sub-range (1-3). If a new technical teaching is provided by this sub-range, A1 should explain so. Only saying that it is better than outside the claimed range is not enough. Determining whether a sub-range is novel requires comparing the known and the claimed ranges and their respective effects. A sub-range is not novel just because the patent application says so.

    This was my last comment about this issue on this weblog. Further discussion will probably result in lengthy discussions with repeating arguments. Not very interesting for most visitors. You are welcome to contact me via e-mail, if you would like to continue the discussion.

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  5. Appreciate your reply and explanation on this issue, as a candidate for the EQE I want to pass & learn, and I realsie that 'EPA' after your name means that you are more likely correct than me :)

    We'll agree to disagree on this point though, I think mainly through our different takes on what is said in [0012] of A1 of C-2010.

    The requirement for 'purposive selection of a sub-range' in the GL is so that an arbitary specimen of a broad range, offering no further technical insight for the person skilled in the art is not patented and thus unavailable for use to the public (after the broad range protection if any has finished).

    I feel that [0012] A1 fulfils the criteria, you don't. We'll have to see in August who is correct.

    In my view, it is fairly clear that [0012] of A1 is proof of the maximised effect of the sub-range - the use of 'than when' indicates that a comparison has been carried out.

    So this is a purposive selection, and is a novel sub-range (though lacks an inventive step over A4 + A3)

    If you are correct though (with respect to claim 4 (plastics) not having a novel sub-range selection because the technical effect of the subrange is the same as the broad range) - then what is the point of including in A3 [0008] (a potential second document for Art. 56) the same maximised effect with similar size values - if not to be used in an Art. 56 attack in the exam?

    Because it is redundant information based on your analysis

    Anyway thanks for your post and comments, food for thought

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  6. I agree with Anonymous. I cannot believe that they expected four novelty attacks

    "My reading of [0012] of A1 is that the narrow range of 1 to 3 produces a spray expelled over a greater distance THAN WHEN CHOSEN OUTSIDE THIS RANGE - i took this to fulfil GL C-IV 9.8(ii)c because the GL state that "the tech effect of the sub-range may be the same effect as that attained by the broad range but to a greater extent" = exactly my argumentation!

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  7. It's not 4 novelty attacks. You need an inventive step attack for part of claim 5. There a clear new technical teaching is obtained, which was not taught in A4.

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  8. The final paragraph of your original post suggests otherwise, and to be honest that is what confused me most.

    I can see the lack of novelty for claim 4 'plastics' over A4 - i don't agree with it, but i understand the reasoning (depends on interpretation of [0012] of A1).

    I couldn't see how the sub-range of claim 5 'plastics' was not novel over A4 (based on your original post, final para.) - but i now see that you mean that is in fact a novel selection

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  9. "The new technical effect occurring within the selected range may also be the same effect as that attained with the broader known range, but to a greater extent."
    This sentence from the Guidelines has not been taken into account in the above analysis.

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  10. Quite right Anonymous

    The analysis of the original post also misses the critical point about [0012] of A1 - the technical effect may be the same...

    ..but the technical teaching is that the subrange attains the same technical effect ot a greater extent. Thus a purposive selection.

    The GL confirm this, as an EQE candidate, I am fairly confident that following the GL is a path to success

    Joeri's post about the 'other' sentence in the GL ("an effect occurring only in the subrange is not enough") is clearly not relevant as the effect is the same - but better.

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  11. This certainly is an interesting discussion, but I think that we used all our arguments. I only see people repeating the main argument of the first anonymous poster. He (or she) thinks that the GL tell us that the same effect to a greater extent always leads to novelty. I think that that's only true under specific circumstances (the GL says 'may') which are not met by the description of A1. My arguments for that opinion are found in an earlier comment. In September we know what the exam committee thinks.

    But I have something else to think about. The exam committee does not try to play tricks or to 'lay down traps' as one of the anonymous posters suggested. It's not the purpose of the exam committee to hide an attack in such a way that many people will miss it. They just try to test whether you know the Guidelines and how to apply them. They give you a clear question (is the sub-range novel?) and expect you to use the right tests to come to an answer (does the sub-range have a new effect?). Arguments to find the outcome of the test are in the documents (here: compare effects mentioned in A1 and in the prior art). When you follow the standard recipe, you come to the answer they expect.

    As soon as you think that the exam committee tries to play a trick by deviating from the standard recipe and that you are the clever one who wasn't fooled by the exam committee, you are usually going the wrong way. A simple test that always works is asking yourself: "Would they expect the majority of candidates in this room to do the same as I am planning to do?". If the answer is no, do something else.

    Being clever will not help you at the exam. You only have to show that you are fit for practice. I know, because I once failed a B-exam for being to clever (to be honest, only because of thinking so myself) and because I easily passed the C paper of 2007 by just sticking to the standard recipe.

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  12. From my point of view, it appears that the Examining Committee intended an inventive step attack, but, as Joeri said, the wording they used in the documents is not very clear. I also looked in the caselaw book and did not find any decision that could clarify the situation. Hence, I think that the Examining Committee should accept both solutions.

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  13. I also believe that the Examining Committee intended an inventive step attack due to the comparison with the effect outside the range in A1 [0012]. However, I wonder whether the effects can be compared to each other because they are in a different relation.
    A1 compares the effect with regard to the pore size within the range in contrast to the pore size outside the range, while A4 compares the effect with regard to a non-porous valve.

    A1 [0012] "greater distance when the pore size of the gas-permeable porous material is chosen outside this range)
    and
    A4 [0004] "greater distance as compared to a device with a non-porous valve"

    The effect is thus different and the sub-range of A1 novel (narrow ranges and limits restrictions being met)...

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  14. Original 'Anonymous' here :)

    Joeri - great advice on not being too clever for your own good in the exam - 'KISS' - 'Keep It Simple Stupid' is a good motto.

    In relation to 'traps'
    My point was that the Examination committee has access to the training material - commentaries/course books - which are in general excellent. However, when one commentates on the law, different language (simpler language) is usually used in an effort to make things easier to understand for the candidate.

    Visser 'slightly' does this on page 79 6.2 part 3 where it is stated in relation to the 3 requirements of T279/89 "i.e. the technical effect of the sub-range must be different from the broad range" - however this error is corrected later, "The effect may be the improvement of a known property".

    As someone who has taken a DeltaPatents C course (which was truly excellent and well recommended) I also have your material - if you look at the A3 sheet on 'Substantive Aspects' for Novelty you also require 'a different techncial effect' for a novel selection. T198/84 actually requires no such thing.

    In fact this case is very useful to our discussion as it is about a narrow selection on the level of catalyst in a chemical process.

    The catalyst of the broad and sub range provides the SAME effect (better yield), but the narrow range of catalyst amount gave IMPROVED yield - like the GL says - subrange can be purposive for SAME effect but attained to a greater extent

    Quote from T298/84 r.7
    "This is not the case, since the effect of the substantial improvement in yield may be believed to occur only within the selected range, but not over the whole known range ("purposive selection")."

    Sounds like the sitaution in C-2010 A1 [0012] to me.

    Anyway I think that these inconsistancies in the commentaries in comparison to the GL (and the actual case law quoted) has given the Exam committee an opportunity to make a difficult part of the exam.

    Seems to have worked

    In relation to the GL C-IV 9.8(c)(ii) - I'm glad that you have acknowledged that a purposive selection of a sub range may be based on the SAME technical effect as the broad range but attained to a greater extent.

    In summary, I believe that claim 4(plastics) was designed to test just this fact.

    Those whose knowledge of the law of selection inventions was based solely on commentaries/training materials which indicate that a different technical effect was required - fail the test and go for novelty, those whose knowledge of the law encompassed the relevant GL 'should' - do better and find the sub-range novel, and attack via Art. 56.

    If points are awarded for both attack approaches (i.e. if enough candidates have made the novelty attack) I would hope that the marking scheme favours those who attacked via Art. 56 by giving them more points - because it is 2x the work at least.

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  15. P.S. about the wording of the exam

    I actually don't see how it could be made any clearer in A1 [0012] - if they were testing the exact sentence in the GL "the effect could be the same but attained to a greater extent".

    Because [0012] states the SAME effect but maximised in the NARROW range than when the size is chosen OUTSIDE this range.

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  16. Just some remarks. In general a patent will be granted/maintained if on the balance of probablities the criteria of the EPC are met.
    The burden of proof lies on the EPO (during examination) and on the opponent (during opposition). In certain situations the initial burden of proof is shifted to the applicant/proprietor.
    Suppose you filed a patent application (and got it granted) for a range of 20-80 with, an until then, unknown effect X. What would your client/company think of the patenting system if it turns out that the main competitor one week after the publication of your application filed ten applications each covering a different 5% subrange and each stating that effect X is attained to a greater extent (no test data given). Clearly, this cannot all be true. Should now one be granted, all or none? Should the competitor be entitled to the benefit of the doubt?
    Clearly if an applicant/proprietor wants to have the benefit of the doubt it has to be credible.
    My personal opinion (we may find out later what the C committee thinks of this) is that if an applicant gives a new effect for a subrange, he deserves the benefit of the doubt if it seems credible that such an effect exists. If the applicant indicates the same effect to a greater extent, this effect must be surprising. A mere statement does not seem credible to me and should thus not entitle the applicant to the benefit of the doubt. He must objectively (verifiably) have contributed a new teaching: a new value (or range), which we can easily verify by looking at the numbers, and a new effect (which can be an improved effect). The new effect must be credible and surprising. My opinion is that an opponent in a situation where it is not credible that this is the case (and it is not even clear that the proprietor was aware of the broader prior art teaching which indicated the same effect already) can simply state that the effects are the same (it is not proven that they are different, let alone surprising).
    Maybe people with practical experience from the chemical field can comment on this.

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  17. Hi Jelle,

    thanks for commenting - it certainly is an interesting subject.

    First point - let's disengage real life from the exam

    For your real life example regarding numerous applications with selected various sub-ranges of a broad range - well Examiners expect data in real life (in my experience) - and the burden is on the applicant to substantiate.

    Second point - in the C-Paper we are the opponents. Thus the claim is granted and the burden is on us as opponents to revoke the claim. You talk about 'applicants' in your post - well of course then the opposite is true, burden on them to substanitiate their alleged 'maximised' effect, i would expect requiring some proper data

    - but in the Exam the patent is granted, the opponent needs to make their case stick - and if there is doubt, the benefit goes to the proprietors.

    So the situation in the C-2010 paper is that we have no data to cast doubt on the proprietor's statement in A1 [0012] about the better effect in the sub-range.

    This has to be taken as correct and not questioned (I think the Examiners repeatedley tell us to accept the facts of the paper as given - yes?)

    We have (as the opponent alledging lack of novelty) to then show that the sub-range is not a purposive selection - that there is in fact no novelty - this i think is very difficult to do in the exam - you can say that the sub-range is not purposive, but where is your proof?

    I real life in rebuttal the proprietor points to A1 [0012] to back up their position... and you point to..what? You have nothing to cast doubt on the credibility of maximised effect of the subrange.

    And if indeed you can cast doubt on the credibility on this for novelty....why can you not do the same for inventive step? For any of the other claims. The effect is no more or less credibile from A1 for establishing a technical effect for an objective technical problem than it is for establishing the purposive selection for novelty.

    Yet the alledged, unsubstantiated effects in the A1 are unquestioned for establishing the OTP for Art. 56 in Paper C.

    I was deeply worried about my exam paper when i first saw the original post's summary, but now i am happier. I am now convinced that the sub-range is novel and the Art 56 attack is the expected answer.

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  18. The more I think about A1 [0012], the clearer I see that the Examining Committee wishes an inventive step attack for claim 4.

    The inventor of A1 came - after some experimentation - to the conclusion that exactly in the relatively small interval 1um to 3um the effect is stronger THAN OUTSIDE THIS INTERVAL. This observations implies that the inventor of A1 found this specific intervals by explicitly testing different sizes of the holes. (A1 does not state that this effect surprising, but it does not say that it is non-surprising either.) All we can say is, that the effect is stronger within this interval than outside this interval.

    The inventor of A4 found out that in the relatively large interval of 0,1 um - 20 um, the effect is better COMPARED TO A NON-POROUS MATERIAL. In other words, the inventor of A4 started from non-porous materials and found out that in the given interval, there is an effect. However, he did not further investigate the effect within the interval.

    A1 is cleary a further development of A4.
    A1 is nothing but a very typical case of a purposive selection.

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  19. Agreed with the last poster - any other interpretation of [0012] A1 does not make sense.

    I think everyone is in agreement (finally) that a purposive selection can be a sub range with the same effect as the broad range but attained to a greater extent - and NOT a different technical effect is required (perhaps amend the training material to make this clear Joeri/Jelle?).

    The question is now does A1 [0012] back this up? I reckon so - [0012] implies that tests were carried out in the 1-3 range and that these were better than outside this range.

    I am a bit surprised that DeltaPatents still does not see this though

    Perhaps actually writing the novelty attack may help - when you hit the brick wall of - 'how do you argue that it is not a purposive selection? - other than simply blindly stating so?

    Arguing that the technical effect is the same does not help as the GL are clear that the technical effect may be the same (but better)

    Arguing that the proprietor is somehow not correct about the effect being maximised in the narrow 1-3 range is not credible - where is your evidence to the contrary.

    Then try to write the Art. 56 attack.
    Much simpler - eh?

    Take home message is to take what the paper is giving you. It gave strong hints that the range was a novel selection (for plastic alternative over A4) and further gave a pretty straightforward Art. 56 attack for the same missing feature - so why try to be too clever about things?

    Especially as you are already arguing a lack of novelty (no selection of the sub-range) of the same feature over A6 for the ceramic variant - why would the examiner test the same thing twice?

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  20. "My personal opinion (we may find out later what the C committee thinks of this) is that if an applicant gives a new effect for a subrange, he deserves the benefit of the doubt if it seems credible that such an effect exists. If the applicant indicates the same effect to a greater extent, this effect must be surprising." - No, the question whether an effect is surprising or not belongs to the assessment of inventive step, not to novelty.

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  21. I would say, if A1 said that in the given range of 1-3 um, a good spraying effect can be obtained, the situation would be different, because this may also imply that outside this range, a good spraying effect can also be obtained. This would not be a purposive selection.

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  22. The effect mentioned in A3 perfectly matches the effect mentioned in A1 (jigsaw puzzle!). Hence, if they really expected a novelty attack (which I do not believe) based on A4, then the Exam Committee really tried to fool us, because then the effect mentioned in A3 is nothing but a trap. I cannot believe that.
    According to my experience, if the Exam Committee gives you a hint how things fit, then you can follow the hint.

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  23. Anyone from DeltaPatents had a chance to relook at the paper and reconsidered their opinion?

    Or are you still convinced that Claim 4(plastics) requires a novelty attack?

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  24. We already had a relook at the paper when you gave your opinion the first time and didn't find any new facts that made us change our opinion. We are all quite sure that it must be a novelty attack.

    If the Exam committee thinks otherwise, we will see so in August and will discuss it at the tutors meeting with the exam committee in October. At the moment I don't see any point in repeating our arguments.

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  25. I talked to one examiner and one member of the Board of Appeals of the EPO who both shared my opinion that an IS-attack is likely to be required for claim 4 (plastic). The requirement of a "purposive selection" is to avoid that any narrow, far-away removed from the ends, random selection from the broader range is novel. As soon as there is an indication, that the range has not been randomly selected (because the effect is better inside than outside the range), a purposive selection can be assumed. The question whether the effect is surprising/unexpected or not has absolutely nothing to do with a "purposive selection", because this question belongs to inventive step (see GL C IV 11.11 and C IV Appendix 3.2).

    I would be glad if Deltapatents could provide an example of a purposive selection having the same effect as the broader range.

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  26. To DeltaPatents,

    Well done on coming down on one side of the fence at least, takes guts to maintain your position as a Firm (as the original post seemed to be one tutors opinion, not that of the whole Firm.)

    We shall see what the outcome is, and I for one will be very interested in the contents of the DP C-2010 model solution if the Exam committe disagrees with you.

    Apart from this issue, keep up the good work, speaking as a trainee the DP training material and courses that I used have been excellent preparation (I used the D Questions booklets and the C paper methodology course and books)

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  27. Hello Delta-Patents,

    I had the same solution, i.e. a novelty attack on claim 4 and an inventive step attack on claim 5.

    I am quite sure that this is the expected solution. however, the other solution (two inventive step attacks) also appears reasonable (the majority of my friends had the second solution)

    well... lets wait for the Examiner's report

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  28. How likely is it that both attacks (novelty and inv. step) will attract marks?
    My impression of the Exam Committee is that they are quite right/wrong-minded (i.e. full marks or no marks) at least as regards paper C.

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  29. Guys - marks are awarded in Paper C for use of information and argumentation

    For claim 4 plastics - you have various marks for identifying the features from A4 (everything except the sub-range) and arguing why they are disclosed - this is the same for Art. 54 or Art. 56.

    You will also get points for arguing why the sub-range is either not novel (if it is not novel) or lacks inventive step using PSA (if it is novel over A4)

    So whichever approach you take you will get 'some' marks for stating the features of Claim 4 that are found in A4 - depending on well well you did it - you obviously will not get any marks for arguing inventive step if it lacks novelty, and are unlikely to get any marks for arguing lack of novelty if it is fact novel.

    Frankly what the situation boils down to is either:-
    DeltaPatents are incorrect, or,
    The C-Examiners do not understand the GL

    because the GL are absolutely clear on this exact issue - and I find it very hard to believe that the C-Examiners do not set the exam in accordance with the GL.

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  30. In principle, a good happen, support the views of the author

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