Interpretation And Extent Of Protection Of A European Patent

Interpretation And Extent Of Protection Of A European Patent

GERMANY – Judgement of the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) of 2 March 1999 – EPO Official Journal, Vol. 5, 2001. Interpreting a European patent does not entail adhering strictly to the wording, but rather considering the overall contextconveyed to a person skilled in the art by the content of the patent specification. It is not the linguistic or logical definition of the terms used in the patent specification which is decisive, but rather how they would be understood by an impartial person skilled in the art. The extent of protection conferred by a European patent cannot be extended to embodiments using alternative means which, either completely or to an extent which is no longer of parctical significance, dispense with the success sought by the patent.