Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Dangers of Copy & Paste

The fist embodiment
In the case T395/13, the technical board of appeal of the EPO had to deal with a case where the appellant - who had not participated in the oral proceedings of the 1st instance -  argued that the decision was not sufficiently reasoned.

According to the appellant,
Sections 11.4 and 11.5 of the decision under appeal did not relate to the present case, but could instead be seen to have been copied from the decision in one of the parallel cases involving the same parties and opposition division (specifically the opposition against European patent No. XXXXXXXXX). The document referred to in those sections as E2 was clearly not that identified as E2 in the section "Facts and submissions" in the decision under appeal, but was instead the document now referred to as E2A. That these sections were not relevant to the present case was also apparent from the fact that it used terminology (specifically the expression "local client printer module") which appeared only in the parallel case, not in this one.
 The board adds that:
It is also clear that ..... sections 11.4 and 11.5 are exact copies of the corresponding sections of the decision taken by the same opposition division in the parallel opposition procedure against the European patent No. XXXXXXX, including even the repetition of mistakes (such as "The fist embodiment" in section 11.5.2). (emphasis added, cf. reasons, item 2.1)
The decision was set aside and remitted to the 1st instance.

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