”It’s never as simple as it seems at the beginning, or as hopeless as it seems in the middle….or as finished as it seems at the end.”
0. Introduction & Overview
0.1 Priority is a fundamental issue for IP practitioners. Its importance is marked by case law of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) in mid-1994 (G0003/93) and mid-2001 (G0002/98) and by a greater number of lower board decisions spanning longer. But this doesn’t stand priority out much from the crowd: it might be seen as normal background noise, with one or two louder highlights, to be expected following the reforms of the 1970’s.
0.2 Self-publication has always been the most dangerous form of anticipation risk – who else is more likely to be in a position to disclose the precise subject-matter on which an innovator is working than the innovator himself. The good news is it can be controlled – policy and process can anticipate what can go wrong and ensure it doesn’t happen unacceptably often. Toxic Priority 1 is self-publication without the good news. Its existence was unrealised and so beyond control. Once realised, implementation of its management required a lot of thought and much delay. There was also historic toxicity requiring consideration. Toxic Priority therefore received a lot of concerned “public” attention, which explains why, in a paper about the wider topic of partial/multiple priorities, centre stage is occupied by that sub-topic and solutions for it.View the document here