Pointsec Mobile Technologies AB (Appellant Opponent) v. Bouygues Telecom (Respondent Patent Proprietor), Technical Board of Appeal 3.5.06, 21 May 2014, Case No. T 0286/10-3.5.06 "Sécurisation d'un accès à une ressource numérique/BOUYGUES", reported by Stefan V. Steinbrener, Bardehle Pagenberg
Technical Board of Appeal 3.5.06 reconsiders the standard of proof required for establishing public availability of internet disclosures. In the Board's view, the principle of free evaluation of evidence applies, thus leading to a decision on the balance of probabilities. The Board holds that there is no legal basis for a stricter standard of proof in respect of prior art originating from the internet.
Internet publications play an ever increasing role in determining the relevant prior art and thus cannot be ignored. However, unlike conventional paper publications, internet disclosures present specific difficulties, notably in that they may have been modified in the course of time without such modifications being reliably traceable.