T 0992/03: Vorlagefragen bezüglich Verfahren zur chirurgischen oder therapeutischen Behandlung
In der Leitsatz-Entscheidung T 0992/03 vom 20. Oktober 2006 werden der Großen Beschwerdekammer folgende Fragen, nun anhängig unter G 1/07, vorgelegt:
1. Is a claimed imaging method for a diagnostic purpose (examination phase within the meaning given in G 1/04), which comprises or encompasses a step consisting in a physical intervention practised on the human or animal body (in the present case, an injection of a contrast agent into the heart), to be excluded from patent protection as a „method for treatment of the human or animal body by surgery“ pursuant to Article 52(4) EPC if such step does not per se aim at maintaining life and health?
2. If the answer to question 1 is in the affirmative, could the exclusion from patent protection be avoided by amending the wording of the claim so as to omit the step at issue, or disclaim it, or let the claim encompass it without being limited to it?
3. Is a claimed imaging method for a diagnostic purpose (examination phase within the meaning given in G 1/04) to be considered as being a constitutive step of a „treatment of the human or animal body by surgery“ pursuant to Article 52(4) EPC if the data obtained by the method immediately allow a surgeon to decide on the course of action to be taken during a surgical intervention?