Do you want to find out more about the problem-solution approach, which was developed to assess the inventiveness requirement of a European patent application? If so, have a look at the e-learning module and the practical examples and exercises.

How to work with the materials?

Structure of the course room

This course room is divided into three main areas: 

  • The first area contains material of general interest for all those who wish to refresh their knowledge about the problem-and-solution approach.
  • The second area is for chemists: you ill find there a growing number of exercises dealing exclusively with chemistry.
  • The third area can include exercises for any non-chemical field.

Structure of the exercises

Before starting with any exercise, you are supposed to study a patent and some prior art documents. You will need to analyse them to answer questions about the closest prior art, the objective technical problem and about whether or not the solution would have been obvious for the skilled person.

Each exercise is divided into three parts:

  • In the first part ("Setting the scene") the patent in dispute is presented. 
  • Subsequently, you are supposed to answer a number of single or multiple choice questions ("Apply the PSA"). 
  • At the end of each exercise, you will find the score you have achieved together with an overview of the questions and reasonings and a short summary.

Most exercises are based on decisions of the EPO Boards of Appeal, in which inventive step was discussed. Links to the corresponding decisions are included in the summaries.

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Last modified: Thursday, 21 February 2019, 6:07 PM