Assessing "inventive step" of patent applications
Inventive step constitutes the condition for patentability of inventions most difficult to determine (Art. 56 EPC). The assessment is currently performed by the Boards of Appeal of EPO without pre-determined and structured procedures and usually results in one-reason decisions. To improve the reproducibility of the assessment a multicriteria index ISPI (Inventive Step Perception Index) was proposed accumulating the reasoning of past decisions of the Appeal Boards of EPO. An empirical investigation was performed in order to validate this index and to compare the results obtained with the results of the one-reason decisions.