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T 557/13: Partial Priority

A referral is to be made to the Enlarged Board regarding partial priority in T 557/13. The case concerns an appeal from a decision of the Opposition Division that the divisional patent lacked novelty over its parent, the divisional (but not the parent) having lost entitlement to priority. The Opposition Division held that partial priority was not available because the priority document did not disclose a limited number of clearly-defined subject matters, however the Technical Board of Appeal acknowledged the presence of diverging case law on the question of partial priority, and hence a referral to the Enlarged Board was deemed appropriate.

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