Long-awaited decision from the EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal concerning multiple priorities

In an order dated 29 November 2016, the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the EPO has decided that partial priority may not be refused for generic “OR”-claims. The order in G 1/15 is as follows.

Under the EPC, entitlement to partial priority may not be refused for a claim encompassing alternative subject-matter by virtue of one or more generic expressions or otherwise (generic “OR”-claim) provided that said alternative subject-matter has been disclosed for the first time, directly, or at least implicitly, unambiguously and in an enabling manner in the priority document. No other substantive conditions or limitations apply in this respect.

The Enlarged Board of Appeal has informed that the reasoned decision will be issued “as soon as possible”.