The Format for Medical Use Claims at the European Patent Office


The European Patent Convention includes provisions against patenting of medical methods.

Medical uses of compositions are, in principle, patentable, but particular formats must be used. The currently approved format for claiming first and further medical uses of a composition is “[Composition] for use in the treatment of [disease]”.

Previously the EPO required claims for second or further medical uses of a composition to be of the so-called “Swiss-type” format. That is, the claim was to “Use of [composition] in the preparation of a medicament for the treatment of [disease]”. Such claims are longer accepted, and the EPO will invite the applicant to delete them.

Further claim formats may also be desirable to provide the best protection for a particular medical invention. We recommend that you ask us for advice before preparing claims to a medical invention for filing at the EPO.

close popup

IP updates signup

Subscribe to our IP news updates mailing list

If you would like to receive our IP updates, please complete the form below. By signing up, you are agreeing to receive IP updates from us, but you can unsubscribe at any time.

* indicates required
Select your IP interests

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Beck Greener:

We take your privacy seriously and you can manage your preferences or unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website at

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.