The plausibility battleground at the EPO


Markus Grammel

The plausibility battleground at the EPO

servickuz /

Plausibility in the context of the inventive step and sufficiency requirements can be a contentious issue before the European Patent Office. Markus Grammel of Grünecker reports.

The European Patent Office (EPO), as the central organ of the European patent system, rewards inventors or their legal successors for their technical contribution to art with patent monopolies, fostering and stimulating innovation.

It is therefore a central pillar of the EPO’s practice to weed out purely speculative patents that do not make a technical contribution at the filing date.

To assess whether an invention is purely speculative, the Boards of Appeal of the EPO have developed the doctrine of “plausibility” in the context of sufficiency of disclosure/enablement as well as inventive step/non-obviousness. Plausibility is also sometimes applied when considering industrial applicability.

EPO, Grünecker, inventive step, Boards of Appeal, pharmaceutical, biotech, patent filings, medical use claims, prior art, plausibility, claimed compounds