In T3000/19, the EPO Technical Board of Appeal provided guidance on the use of internet disclosures as prior art. Internet disclosures can form part of the state of the art but the reliability of the evidence must be preserved where such disclosures are cited against a European patent application. The EPO Guidelines for Examination provide that to be cited as prior art documents, video and audio disclosures should be converted to literature citations, including reference to the URL. The Appeal Board underlined that to be citable, such disclosures must be collected and stored in a manner that allows scrutiny of the prior art by the Appeal boards or courts. Although in this case, the Examining Division had provided several screenshots of the internet disclosure it had cited, the Appeal Board did not deem these to have preserved the necessary video content in its entirety. The Appeal Board concluded that as the URL was not available at the time of the appeal, and the Appeal Board had access to only a few screenshots and comments about the video’s content, the Examining Division’s decision to refuse the application was not sufficiently reasoned. The case was remitted to the Examining Division for further prosecution.
+44 (0) 1904 795 869