Plausibility: A conditio sine qua non of Patent Law?

2020-06-03T10:21:07Z (GMT) by Alison Slade
[First paragraph] The Technical Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office has stated that, ‘It is...a conditio sine qua non that it is shown that the technical problem underlying the invention was at least plausibly solved at the filing date.’1 Thus, to be deserving of a patent the specification must disclose how to work the invention and include adequate information to demonstrate that the technical contribution made by the claimed invention is achievable. It is this latter aspect that plausibility, as a legal concept, is directed at verifying. In this regard, plausibility strikes at the heart of the patent system–‘the patent monopoly should correspond to and be justified by the technical contribution to the art.’2Exclusive property rights, in terms of patents, should only be awarded for inventions that advance the technical knowledge in a field or ‘art’, there being no property in mere ideas alone.

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