Case Law Review – T 1445/10



Claimed Subject Matter:

Nappies with active elements.


The Examining Division considered that there were two problems relating to the feature of the active graphic being placed in the interior of the article. The first problem related to the question of small amounts of urine being sufficient to activate the graphic. The second problem related to the necessity for the wearer to inspect the pants internally in order to see the signal. The first problem was considered to be linked to an unpredictable perception of the user and thus linked to a further feature which could not be controlled. The second problem was considered to be non-technical as it related to the use of the article.

The Board considers both problems to be linked to the general problem of improved assistance in toilet training. Although it may be unpredictable whether or not the individual wearer correctly uses the provided assistance, such use which is not claimed but rather an article which provides, by means of a technical feature (the active graphic disposed on an interior article surface) the possibility of such improved assistance. Hence, the application specifies an invention within the meaning of Article 52 EPC. Accordingly, it is not necessary to consider the further auxiliary requests. (See sections 2.4.1/2.4.2.)

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