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Patenting Nanotechnology: A European Patent Office Perspective
Volume 5, Issue 1

Christian Kallinger, European Patent Office
Victor Veefkind, European Patent Office
Richard Michalitsch, European Patent Office
Yves Verbandt, European Patent Office
Andreas Neumann, European Patent Office
Manfred Scheu, European Patent Office
Wolfram Forster, European Patent Office

As with any new technology, there is some anxiety over how the patenting process will adapt to nanotechnology. With nanotechnology being a very fast growing and, in particular, a very interdisciplinary field, a number of challenges arise for patent offices. This article describes the implications of Nanotechnology patent applications for the European Patent Office. It also presents the search and examination procedures for European patent applications focusing on a number of specific issues that arise when the patentability of Nanotechnology inventions is assessed. Questions such as “is the selection of specific parameters from a known range novel?” are addressed and discussed in light of the basic patentability requirements of the European Patent Convention as well as the Guidelines for Examination. Finally the author’s present some examples taken from case law of the EPO’s Boards of Appeal dealing with these aspects.

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