Tuesday, 15 September 2009

T 1030/06 - The Potential of the Skilled Person

[...] The appellant argued generally that although the skilled person would be able to understand the invention, he would not be able to develop further or create ideas. The Board can only agree with this statement up to a point. The skilled person is a person of ordinary skill in the art which means not only having access to the state of the art and common general knowledge in the field, but also the capability to perform routine work and experimentation. Thus, the skilled person can be expected to seek out solutions and make choices to try to solve design problems that crop up. This is particularly so where the problem is to come up with an implementation of an apparatus having certain required functions as in the present case. The implementation of the first part of the solution (here the provision of several processors) often leads to further design decisions that must be made (here the choice of encryption scheme and the identification of the source of data) in order to produce a working system. The skilled person cannot be expected to abandon the implementation half-way through in the form of a “black box” with undefined means for carrying out the required functions, but must attempt if possible to put such means into practice using knowledge available to him (see also T 623/97 [4.4]). These would literally be “further ideas” in the sense that they could be new in the given context, but they should be routine and thus not inventive. [20]

To read the whole decision : T 1030/06