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Coffee break questions from the EPO

Surfing the EPO website I found a link that allows automatic e-mails be sent containing what the EPO calls "Coffee Break Questions". So far I have received two of such questions, see below for an example.

The EPO PschorrHöfe building in the Bayerstrasse (not the main building, but the one across the street) has a very nice "sky bar" for EPO employees (or lost attorneys :-)) to enjoy a good coffee after an excellent lunch. This is not the place for people wanting a quick shot of caffeine but rather a place to stay around for some time, to enjoy the view over Munich and of course the coffee.

Why am I writing this down ...

Well, first of all because the questions I have received so far are so easy that the coffee break will be very short if you focus solely on the answer of the question. However, this source of questions may nevertheless help you in your preparations by thinking bit further on the specific subject. Doing so may want you to decide to take another cappuccino. 

Question one was the following:

An invention can be patented only if it is new. What is the relevant date for determining the state of the art?

- The filing date
- The priority date
- The priority date if there is one, otherwise the filing date

The answer is not difficult, it probably takes a few seconds. However, you may want to consider the following:
- What are the other requirements for patentability? What is the legal basis ?
- What if the claimed invention is not the same invention as in the priority document?
- Following the previous question, what legal basis (Articles, Rules, Case Law) deals with the right to priority, and more specifically what is meant with "the same invention".
- What is the difference between prior art under Article 54(2) an 54(3) ? How is this related to the priority issue.
- What are the requirements for getting a filing date? Legal basis?
- etc. etc.

You can subscribe at the EQE-Online website.

Enjoy your coffee !!!

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