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Management Forum

Effective Defence of EPO (European Patent Office) Patent Applications Training Course

Clarity in drafting patent applications has always been a serious issue. The purpose of the seminar is to teach delegates the essentials of clarity, and the most effective use of the problem-solution approach, giving delegates an edge over other parties. *INCLUDES: Interactive workshop sessions and details of the latest case law and its implications*

★★★★★ "The speaker was perfect."

23 September 2024 »
from £499

Need help?  Enrol or reserve

Why you should attend

Clarity in drafting patent claims has always been a serious issue: clarity is required to distinguish the subject matter of a claim from prior art, and an unclear claim can be interpreted to the disadvantage of the applicant or proprietor. This is not just a formal matter, but a substantial issue of first importance.

The ‘problem-solution’ approach is not officially part of the EPC, but is a criterion which has been developed by case law. It is now hard to find a decision of the Boards of Appeal which does not rely on the problem-solution approach in order to decide upon inventive step. It looks easy, but when applied, it should be applied correctly.

The purpose of this seminar is to teach delegates the essentials of clarity and the most effective use of the problem-solution approach, giving them an edge over other parties.

Key topics covered:
  • Article 84 – the implications of clarity of claims
  • Effective use of the problem-solution approach
  • Article 56 – understanding inventive step

This course is part of our collection of IP & Patents Training Courses.

Who should attend?

  • European patent attorneys
  • Patent attorneys in private practice
  • Corporate patent attorneys and lawyers
  • People working or training in intellectual property
  • US attorneys working in Europe
  • Trainee patent attorneys
  • EQE candidates

Those already familiar with the field will find these seminars valuable for updating their knowledge on the latest case law and its implications.

Enrol or reserve

The Effective Defence of EPO Patent Applications course will cover:

Understanding the implications of clarity of claims – Article 84

  • Definition of clarity – Art 84
  • Categories and types of claims
  • Practical definition of clarity – clear means
  • Conciseness and support by description
  • Form and content of claims
  • Clarity vs novelty
  • Structural vs functional features
  • Comprising vs consisting
  • The interplay between Art 83, 84 and 56
  • Relative terms
  • Inventions defined by parameters
  • Definition by result to be achieved
  • Sources of difficulties with Article 84 – illustrating case law
  • Clarity of claims in opposition procedure
  • Application of G 3/14 to amended claims
  • Adaptation of the description


Exercises to exemplify the concepts learnt from 'Understanding the implications of clarity of claims – Article 84'

Inventive step and how to master the problem-solution approach – Article 56

  • Legal definition
  • State of the art
  • Obvious
  • Problem-solution approach – identifying the nearest/closest prior art
  • Formulating the objective technical problem
  • Does the claimed subject matter solve the objective problem?
  • Partial problems
  • Aggregation/juxtaposition
  • Mix of technical and non-technical features
  • Deciding on inventive step and positive pointers


Exercises to exemplify the concepts learnt from 'Inventive step and how to master the problem-solution approach – Article 56'

Latest case law and its implications for defending your EPO patent applications

  • Notable decisions on inventive step

Enrol or reserve

Daniel X Thomas
formerly EPO

Daniel X. Thomas is an electronics engineer by training. He started his career in the patent field as search examiner at the former Institut International des Brevets in The Hague in 1971. After incorporation of the IIB into the EPO in 1978, he was search examiner in the EPO’s DG1. He joined the EPO’s DG2 in 1979 as substantive examiner in the field of computers and memories. He became a Director in DG2 in 1989, and subsequently headed directorates in various fields of electronics, physics and mechanics.

Although he retired from active service at the EPO on 1 January 2013, Daniel continues to be active in the field of training patent specialists. He still regularly gives lectures at different universities over Europe, including CEIPI in Strasbourg, and also leads workshops/seminars relating to various aspects of the European granting procedure for the epi and the Academy of the EPO, including preparation of candidates for the European Qualification Examination, and also ‘grandfathers’ for new Contracting States.

More details

NEW higher discounts for multiple bookings - bring your colleagues to make your training budget go further:

  • 30% off the 2nd delegate*
  • 40% off the 3rd delegate*
  • 50% off the 4th delegate*

Please contact us for pricing if you are interested in booking 5 or more delegates

23 September 2024

Live online

09:00-17:30 UK (London) (UTC+01)
10:00-18:30 Paris (UTC+02)
04:00-12:30 New York (UTC-04)
Course code 14034

  • GBP 499 599
  • EUR 719 859
  • USD 823 979

Until 19 Aug

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Not ready to book yet?

for 7 days, no obligation

* Early booking discounts may not be combined with other discounts or offers. As such, the discounts for 2nd/3rd/4th delegates are based on the full price; and apply only when booking multiple delegates on the same date.

Reviews of IPI's Effective Defence of EPO Patent Applications training course

A very good and practical course.

Jun 13 2019

Rafi Bronstein
Patent Attorney, Daltan Consulting Ltd

Nov 15 2017

The speaker was perfect.

Agneszka Zebrowska-Kucharzyk
European and Polish Patent Attorney, PATPOL

Nov 24 2016

It was a great course!

Geovana Rosales
Patent Manager, DuPont Nutrition Biosciences ApS

Nov 24 2016

A lively discussion and I particularly liked the case law exercises.

Huaizhou SHI

Nov 24 2016

A very experienced speaker – straightforward and at times funny.

Guy Knockaert


  • Budde Schou
  • DuPont Nutrition Biosciences ApS
  • Guardian IP Consulting
  • Novo Nordisk A/S

United Kingdom

  • Baytree IP Ltd
  • HGF Limited
  • Xaar Plc
  • Xeros Limited


  • IZI Patents
  • NLO
  • NLO European Patent and Trademark Attorneys


  • EP-Patent
  • ORLEN S.A.


  • Alfa Laval Corporate AB
  • Bergenstråhle & Partners ​AB
  • SCA


  • AC Immune
  • F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd
  • JTI


  • Umicore
  • VIB


  • Kolster OY AB
  • Primrose Oy


  • Yara International ASA


  • BCF




  • Mettler Toledo India (GBSI)


  • Daltan Consulting Ltd





Enrol or reserve

Run Effective Defence of EPO Patent Applications Live online for your team

1 day

Typical duration

Pricing from:

  • GBP 450
  • Per attendee, based on 10 attendees
  • Course tailored to your requirements
  • At your choice of location, or online


We can customise this course to your requirements and deliver it on an in-house basis for any number of your staff or colleagues.

Contact our in-house training experts Aleksandra Beer and Yesim Nurko to discuss your requirements:

Multiple colleagues? See above for details of our discounts for 2, 3, or 4 delegates. For more, talk to one of our training experts to discuss how to:

Run this course conveniently and cost-effectively in-house for your staff and colleagues

Aleksandra Beer

Aleksandra BEER
Training expert

Yesim Nurko

Training expert

+44 (0)20 7749 4749