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Boards of Appeal Contact us using an online form. Check the calendar of oral proceedings. Mention of the grant of European patent No. Esckrez patent, entitled “Low viscosity hot melt pressure sensitive adhesive compositions” was granted with thirteen claims, Claims 1, 9 and 10 reading as follows:.
The Opponents based their objections on Articles a lack of novelty and lack of inventive step and c EPC and cited inter alia the following documents in support of the objections under Article a EPC:.
Handout distributed by L. Opponent I further submitted that the patent proprietor was not ezcorez to the first priority US dated 15 Ewcorez Therefore D29, which was made available to the public before the second priority date of 28 Novemberbecame citable prior art. With its decision orally announced on 9 December and issued in writing on 20 January the Opposition Division revoked the patent.
The decision was based on the sets of claims according to the main request and auxiliary request 4, both submitted during the oral proceedings, and on the sets of claims according to auxiliary requests 2 and 3, both submitted with the letter dated 11 October In its decision the Opposition Division agreed with the submission of Opponent I that the patent proprietor was not entitled to the first priority.
It was held that the molecular weight range of from 50, tofor the thermoplastic elastomer resin indicated in escoerz patent as granted was not disclosed in the priority document US Concerning escorea public escofez of the document D29, the Opposition Division referred to the declaration of Mr.
Jacob who was the inventor of the claimed subject-matter.
The Opposition Division stated that Mr. D29 was therefore citable prior art. The subject-matter of the main request was considered not to be novel over the disclosures given in the documents D10, D23 and D The Opposition Division held that all these documents described pressure-sensitive adhesive compositions containing the S-I-S triblock elastomer component “Vector ” and the tackifier “Wingtack Extra” or “Escorez ” which were embraced by the elastomer and tackifier components defined in Claim 1 and which were characterized in the patent specification itself as suitable adhesive ingredients.
The subject-matter according to auxiliary request 4 was considered escorea be not inventive.
Product datasheets and sales specifications for Escorez™ tackifying resins
The Opposition Division held that the problem to be solved was the provision of low viscosity HMPSA hot melt pressure sensitive adhesive compositions which can be applied to substrates as a melt using high speed coating 22203. The claimed solution to this problem by the choice of the specific coating temperature range and coating speed was obvious because these features were already foreshadowed in D On 2 March the patent proprietor hereinafter: The Statement of the Grounds of Appeal was submitted on 13 May Enclosed were several sets of claims as bases for a new main request and auxiliary requests 1 to With a letter dated 25 May new sets of claims as bases for a new main request and auxiliary requests 1 to 5, replacing all former requests, were filed.
In preparation for the oral proceedings before the Board, scheduled for 26 Junethe Appellant, with a letter dated 21 Junefiled further submissions including three sets of claims as bases for a new main request and auxiliary requests 1 and 2 to replace all former requests.
In the oral proceedings sets of claims according to a modified main request Claims 1 to 5 and escirez modified auxiliary request 1 Claims 1 to 6 were submitted. In the course of the discussion, two further sets of claims as bases for auxiliary requests 3 Claims 1 to 4 and 4 Claims 1 to 4 were presented. Claim 1 of auxiliary request 2 corresponds to Claim 1 of auxiliary request 1, except that the component a was defined as follows:.
Claim 1 of auxiliary request 3 differs from Claim 1 of edcorez request 1 by the following modifications:. Claim 1 of auxiliary request 4 corresponds to Claim 1 of auxiliary request 3, except for the following modifications:. It was argued that the presentation of Mr. Jacob given at this congress and as depicted in this paper was very similar to the presentation in Munich represented by D29 and that reference was also made in D29 to this AFERA paper.
With the letter dated 15 June a newsletter from the Bobst Group hereinafter: The admissibility of the request submitted with the letter dated 21 June auxiliary request 2 and also those submitted during the oral proceedings main request, auxiliary requests 1, 3, 4 was challenged by the Respondents.
It was argued that the requests were late filed and suffered from a number of new deficiencies under Articles 83, 84 and 2. Further, doubts as to the validity of the first priority were raised. In the oral proceedings the Appellant conceded that D29 was available to the public inie before the date of the second priority, and that this document was therefore citable prior art.
The new requests led escotez a simplification of the case because the claims were narrower in scope than the claims according to the old requests. They should therefore be admitted even at this late stage of the proceedings.
Furthermore, the first priority was without any doubt valid for the subject-matter of auxiliary requests 1 to 4 because component a of the adhesive composition was limited to specific embodiments which were indicated in the appli cation as filed and the first priority document as well.
D29, describing a process for preparing an adhesive tape comprising the step of applying a coating of a hot melt pressure sensitive adhesive HMPSA at an elevated temperature to the surface of a tape substrate, was representative of the closest escirez art.
Therefore, the problem to be solved was to be seen in the adaptation of known HMPSA formulations to be used with high speed coating machines. Concerning the issues 22003 admissibility of the Appellant’s requests and inventive step the Respondents argued as follows:. Late submission of a number of sets of claims as bases for new requests at escorrz short notice 25 May Furthermore, a number of the requests did not overcome objections raised in the written proceedings or suffered from new deficiencies which had not previously arisen.
In particular the deficiencies were as follows:. These deficiencies under Articles 84 and 83 could not be overcome by reference to the commercial product “Escorez ” on page 5, lines 29 to 31 of the patent specification, because no consistent characterization of this product existed in the prior art.
Doubts further existed as to the validity of the first priority for the claimed subject-matter. The indication that the amount of component c is either 0 parts by weight or from 0. Claim 1 of auxiliary request 2 was unclear, simply because component a was merely defined by the trade escorsz “V SIS” or “DPX SIS”, which by itself made the claim incomprehensible.
Apart from the deficiencies indicated with respect to auxiliary request 1, Claim 1 of auxiliary request 3 further suffered from the deficiency under Article 2 EPC that the range “from to parts by weight” defined for component b was not originally disclosed. In the examples escorezz the WO publication the values ” phr” or ” phr” were disclosed in conjunction with the specific tackifiers “E” and “Wingtack Extra”. This disclosure did not allow the creation of a new range in combination with a generalization of the tackifier compound.
The objections as to lack of escoez, insufficien cy, added subject-matter and non-entitlement of priority also applied as regards the escorezz of escorsz request 4. Escore addition, it was not clear, contrary to Article escorezz EPC, whether the indication “from Furthermore, D29 pointed on page to the considerably low melt viscosity of Escirez compo sitions, including the petroleum resin Escorez E, under coating conditions in which high shear forces were present.
The Appellant requested that the decision under appeal be set aside and the patent be maintained on the basis of Claims escotez to 5 of the new main request or, alternatively, on the basis of Claims 1 to 6 of auxiliary request 1, or Claims 1 to 4 of auxiliary requests 3 or 4, all filed during the oral proceedings, or Claims 1 to 9 of the second auxiliary request, submitted with the letter dated 21 June The amendments to several of the claims according to the main request, which was submitted by the Respondent during escorrz oral proceedings before the Board, were initiated by objections orally raised by the Appellants with regard to the main request filed with the letter dated 21 June These objections in particular concerned formal aspects, ie the incorrect category of Claim 3, the incorrect back-references in the dependent Claims 3 to 5 and the inadmissibility of Claim 6 under Rule 57a EPC.
All formal deficiencies were remedied by the amendments made. Furthermore a discussion of the validity of the first priority became redundant in the light of the new main request because the Respondent no longer contested the non-entitlement to the first priority and admitted that D29 was citable prior art.
Under these circumstances the case became much simpler and – as regards the subject-matter of the main request – the issue of inventive step was the only point of discussion remaining in the oral proceedings. Inventive step had already been discussed in the opposition proceedings and in the written appeal proceedings, and the amended main request did not give rise to any further matters which the Respondents were not in a position to address.
Escorez Import Data of HS code in June –
Auxiliary requests 1, 3 and 4 were submitted during the oral proceedings and auxiliary request 2 was filed with the letter dated 21 June Contrary to the argument of the Appellant, no such simplification of the case occurs by the late filing of these requests. As the Respondents convincingly argued in the oral proceedings see point X. Because the Board and the parties could not reasonably be expected to deal with these new issues without adjournment of the proceedings – which contravenes the principle of procedural economy – auxiliary requests 1 to 4 were not admitted, in accordance with Article 10b 3 of the Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal.
Consistently with the statement of Mr. Jacob is the inventor of the claimed subject-matter and the author of D29, which he distri buted himself during the presentation he gave during this seminar, the Respondent’s declaration is not open to doubt.
D29, which was made available to the public before the date of the second priority 28 Novemberis therefore citable prior art. The patent is concerned with the manufacture of pressure sensitive adhesive tapes by applying a coating of a hot melt pressure sensitive adhesive HMPSA composition in the molten state to the surface of a tape substrate.
D29 is representative of the closest prior art.
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All three components are embraced by the compositional characterization given in features a to c of Claim 1. In 22203 light of the above, the problem to be solved is seen in the provision of an HMPSA tape ecorez process which can be operated at coating speeds in excess of those exemplified in D Normal technical advances leading to higher operation speeds regularly require formulation adaptations of the materials processed and skilled persons are used to look for prior art recipes which appear the most promising to meet the new challenges.
As long as no distinctive escirez emerge, this activity, which supposedly underlies the claimed subject-matter, is a routine task not involving inventive skill. You could be one of ten lucky winners of an EPO gym bag. Contact Boards of Appeal Contact us using an online form Address: See also Frequently asked questions about the Boards of Appeal.
D Download and more information: Unpublished Title of application: Low viscosity hot melt pressure sensitive adhesive compositions Applicant name: ExxonMobil Chemical Patents, Inc. Admissibility of late filed requests: Main request yes ; auxiliary requests no Valid priority claim no Main request: Inventive step no Catchwords: The patent, entitled “Low viscosity hot melt pressure sensitive adhesive compositions” was granted with thirteen claims, Claims 1, 9 and 10 reading as follows: A hot melt pressure sensitive adhesive composition comprising a mixture of: A process for preparing an adhesive tape comprising: Notice of opposition requesting revocation of the patent in its entirety was filed by Shell Internationale Research Maatschappij B.
The Opponents based their objections on Articles a lack of novelty and lack of inventive step and c EPC and cited inter alia the following documents in support of the objections under Article a EPC: Auxiliary requests 2 and 3 were not allowed under Article 2 EPC. Claim 1 of the main request reads as follows: A hot melt pressure sensitive adhesive composition containing a mixture of: Claim 1 of auxiliary request 3 differs from Claim 1 of auxiliary request 1 by the following modifications: Claim 1 of auxiliary request 4 corresponds to Claim 1 of auxiliary request 3, except for the following modifications: The Appellant’s arguments presented in the oral proceedings were as follows: The claimed process was therefore inventive over the prior art.