Date: 28 July 2010
Recent EPO case law confirms that patents granted on parent and divisional applications cannot contain claims of identical scope, and potentially restricts the ability to claim subject matter in a divisional European patent application that is wholly encompassed within, or wholly encompasses, the claims of its parent.
One of the cases in question is open to severe criticism. Please see our Article "Double Patenting at the EPO" for details. For the present, at least one Examiner has confirmed to us that there is no change of policy in the Examining Divisions and that policy continues to be very "applicant friendly".