13 Dec 2017

T 1693/12 - More pertinent prior art from the Board

Key points

  • In this examination appeal, the Board introduced with the summons a new document D6 into the proceedings " which appeared to be more pertinent than the prior art cited by the Examining Division." The Board found the claims of all requests to lack an inventive step in view of D6.

EPO T 1693/12 - link

Summary of Facts and Submissions
I. The applicant (appellant) appealed against the decision of the Examining Division refusing European patent application No. 07024619.4.
II. The decision cites the following documents:
D1: EP 1 100 025 A1, 16 May 2001; and
D2: Cole, L.: "The Dastardly 'favicon.ico not found' Error", 3 August 1999, retrieved by the EPO on 11 October 2000 from http://www.wdvl.com/Authoring/Design/Images/Favicon/icon.html.
The Examining Division decided that the subject-matter of claim 1 of the then main request and auxiliary requests 1 and 2 lacked inventive step in view of document D2.
III. With the statement of grounds of appeal, the appellant filed an amended main request and auxiliary requests 1 and 2. It also filed the following two undated documents:
D3: "Favicon", Wikipedia; and
D4: screenshot of Internet Explorer.
IV. In a communication accompanying a summons to oral proceedings, the Board introduced the following documents into the proceedings:
D5: "Favicon", Wikipedia, 13 May 2004;
D6: US 5 963 964, 5 October 1999; and
D7: Kaasten S. et al.: "Designing an Integrated Bookmark / History System for Web Browsing", Proceedings of the Western Computer Graphics Symposium 2000, March 2000.
It inter alia expressed the preliminary view that the subject-matter of claim 1 of all requests lacked inventive step over document D6, which appeared to be more pertinent than the prior art cited by the Examining Division.
Reasons for the Decision
[...] 3. Main request - inventive step
3.1 Document D6 relates to "visual bookmarks", which are reduced graphical images, i.e. thumbnails, of web pages and are associated with URLs to those web pages (see abstract). It describes a user computer running a browser implementing the bookmarking mechanism shown in Figures 14 to 17 (column 5, lines 26 to 34; column 6, line 16, to column 8, line 22).
7. Conclusion
Since none of the requests on file is allowable, the appeal is to be dismissed.

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