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The limits of what is patentable which were laid down in the European Patent Convention of 1973 have been eroded over the years. Influential patent courts have interpreted Article 52 in a way that renders it obscure and meaningless. Not all courts have followed this interpretation, and numerous law scholars have shown why it is not permissible. The EPO had accepted the inconsistencies in anticipation of an expected change of law. However this expectation was frustrated in 2000 by the governments and in 2003 by the European Parliament. Thus the often hidden struggle about interpretation of Art 52 EPC rages on, and we try to make it visible.

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