EPC1973 Guidelines, especially for prior rights
Unfortunately, the latest version of the EPC2000 guidelines does not contain all relevant infromation about the old law. Although the law as of 31 Dec 2009 will be tested in EQE2010, this does include any older provisions which continue to apply for applications which could be pending on that date. There have been questions on both 2008 and 2009.
The Examination Board announced in 2008 that it is up to candidates themselves if they wish to take a copy to the exam to help understand the transitional provisions - it is permitted. However, in the interest of keeping your EQE library as small as possible, it makes sense only to take the parts relating to prior rights.
In particular, the prior right system (Art.54(3) & (4) EPC1973) and all related provisions need to be understood. Note that Art.54(4) EPC1973 is completely different to Art.54(4) EPC2000 !!
This includes the provision for separate claims (R.87 EPC1973), and the potential effect of non-payment of the designation fees (R.23a EPC1973)
The old version of the guidelines (June 2005) can be found here
In particular, read sections:
- C-II, 4.3
- C-III, 8.1
- C-IV, 6.1a
- C-IV, 6.2
- C-IV, 6.3
- D-VII, 6.3
More basic information can be found in
OJ 2007 - Special Edition No 4 (Articles) and Special Edition - No 5 (Rules)
In addition, you should also be familiar with the transitional provisions:
- The provisions themselves are here. This is considered the true legal basis, and should be cited in DI.
- Explanation is found in OJ2007, 504 and the document referred to in that OJEPO
- For completeness, you need to also know the OJ2007, 694 for the withdrawals of PCT reservations