On March 24, 2015 the Enlarged Board made his decision on the question of clarity in opposition proceedings.
In its decision G 3/14 the Enlarged Board of Appeal has decided that the clarity of the amended claims of a patent may be examined in opposition proceedings only when, and then only to the extent that the amendment introduces non-compliance with Article 84 EPC.
Clarity cannot be objected if the amendment consists of the literal insertion of complete dependent claims as granted into a granted independent claim; or in case of the introduction of alternative embodiments contained in a dependent claim into a granted independent claim.
With this decision the previous case law of the Boards of Appeal is confirmed that clarity cannot be examined in opposition proceedings if granted claims are combined or an alternative embodiment from a subclaim is introduced in a granted independent claim. It can be expected that the clarity of subclaims will be more strictly examined in the examination proceedings.