Posts Tagged: "epo"

EPO ready for the first Unitary Patent as soon as the ratification requirements are met

One of the great aspects of the Unitary Patent is that it follows the normal EPO procedure up to grant. And indeed, the search and the examination processes will be precisely the same as those you’ve been used to with the current EP and PCT procedures, and will be performed by the same examiners. One of the strengths of the EPO is that we allocate examiners to applications according to their technical expertise, regardless of the filing route through which applications arrive. It will only be at the end of the procedure, when the application proceeds to grant, that applicants will have to indicate if they want to have a single Unitary Patent instead of a bundle of patents for individual member states, as is the case for the European patent. So it’s extremely straightforward, cost effective, and much simpler to administer post grant than the current European patent. My impression is that many U.S. applicants already understand the logic and advantages of this very well, sometimes even a little better than European applicants, as the geographical size and the GDP of the market covered by the Unitary Patent is very similar to that of the U.S. patent.

Exclusive with Grant Philpott: Patenting Computer Implemented Inventions in Europe

We try to be precise and stick to CII because “software” in itself is a term which lacks precision. It can refer to a high level program, a machine level program, or it can be an executable program. But if we speak about a computer-implemented invention the core of the discussion is rather on the technology. We have a general purpose computer and we program it, and when it runs it executes the instructions and performs certain functions. So the essence of our approach is to ask what the software does. Software of course can do a variety of things, many of which can be totally out of the patentable area if they’re purely abstract or purely business oriented. But when software solves a technical problem you are definitely in the area where a patent is possible. That is the core element of our approach.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Patents: A Survey

Given the broad range of countries deploying UAVs and the large number of applications for UAVs, we took a look at patent data from the last 20 years (1997 to 2016) to determine whether any trends in UAV development could be identified. Our findings show some surprising results with regard to development and patenting of drone technology. In this analysis we focuses on the top-5 patent offices for obtaining UAV related patents, the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) in China, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the European Patent Office (EPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) in South Korea, and the Japan Patent Office (JPO).

The To DO List for the Unitary Patent Package

The sunrise period for opting out traditional European patents is planned to start on 1 September 2017. Since such opt-outs will now be done electronically through the UPC case management system, it will take less than a minute to opt out a patent and the opt-out will be on the register immediately… For pending patent applications that are close to grant, the applicants need to decide whether they want to apply for unitary effect and take the necessary preparations, including a request to the EPO not to publish the mention of the grant of the patent prior to 1 December 2017 and filing a request for unitary effect with the EPO during the sunrise period.

European Patent Office grants more patents to US companies than ever before

The number of patents granted to US companies by the European Patent Office (EPO) grew by 46.7% in 2016, the highest increase in ten years, and a new record high. Last year US companies were granted 21,939 patents by the EPO (2015: 14,955).

Flexible problem-solution analysis for drafters with Europe in mind

The problem-solution paradigm has become a cornerstone of patentability in Europe. If the invention cannot be reduced to the format of a technical solution to a technical problem, this could be a sign that either the supposed invention is non-technical, or the contribution over the state of the art is non-technical. In Europe, non technical inventions are excluded much in the same way as abstract ideas are deemed non-patent eligible in the US. Inventions that make no technical contribution are refused for obviousness. The EPC and the subsequent case law do not have a precise definition of what is technical (non-abstract) and non-technical (abstract). Nevertheless there is a growing body of case law on inventions which involve a mix of technical features and non technical features and that are refused for lack of inventive step because the non-technical features are disregarded.

The quest for patent quality: European inventive step and US obviousness

In Europe and the US, patentability depends on a showing of inventiveness that is based on similar legal requirements but practice differs substantially and the resulting patent quality varies… At the USPTO, patent applications are rejected for obviousness (35 USC §103) already in a first Office Action by an examiner and his/her supervisor… Over in Europe the examination of inventive step begins with an opinion following which the applicant is invited to comment/amend.

Minimizing costs while ensuring foreign patent maintenance fees are timely paid

A few years ago, a clearly irritated client asked me why European maintenance fees were so expensive. Apparently, he had consulted the EPO schedule of fees and found my recent quote to be much higher than the government fee. The final quote in this case was more than double the government fee, which itself is not a small amount as any practitioner who prosecutes European patent applications knows. I had not realized that the annuity payment firm I was using had slowly increased its rates over the years to an unreasonable level. This started a reflection on how to minimize costs to my clients while still ensuring that the maintenance fees were paid.

Improving efficiency of the examination process for patents worldwide

The IP5 is the name given to a forum of the five largest intellectual property offices in the world that was set-up to improve the efficiency of the examination process for patents worldwide. The top five Patent Offices (IP5) have recognized this internationalization phenomenon and many directives have been introduced to facilitate cooperation between the patent offices… For example, the IP5’s Common Citation Document (CCD) application now allows access of up-to-date citation data of all five patent offices.

Record year in 2015 for EPO patent filings on big increases from U.S., Chinese companies

The European Patent Office (EPO) announced earlier today that the overall number of European patent applications filed at the EPO rose in 2015 to 160,000. This represents an increase of 4.8% compared with 2014, when the EPO saw a record high 153,000 patent applications filed… Many within the U.S. patent industry are openly talking about protection being better, fairer and more attainable in Europe, and Europe is rapidly becoming a preferred venue for litigating patent disputes. With the unitary patent and European Patent Court on the horizon, the continued self-inflicted wounds being leveled against the patent system in America makes it all but certain that the EPO will continue to experience ever more filings moving forward.

After Searching: Patent Filing Options and PCT ISAs

According to WIPO data, USPTO, EPO and KIPO are major ISAs for U.S. applicants; about 94% of intentional searches have been done by these three patent offices. U.S. applicants may consider the quality of search reports and cost of search fees as the most important factors in selecting an ISA. Search fees vary by ISA, for example, EPO’s rate is relatively high $2,125, USPTO’s rate is $2,080, and KIPO is well known to provide high quality earches with a relevantly competitive cost at $1,219.

US No. 1 in Patent Filings at the European Patent Office

Patent filings at the European Patent Office (EPO) hit a new record in 2013, with applications coming from the US growing by 2.8% (2012: +5.1%). Last year US companies deposited 64 967, or 24.5%, of all European patent filings (2012: 63 198), which confirms the US as the No. 1 among all countries at the EPO, ahead of Japan (52 437; +1.2%) and Germany (32 022, -5.4%). It is the highest number of patents ever filed by US companies within one year at the EPO. In the last decade, European patent filings originating in the US grew an average 2.2% per year. Since 2004 the number of US patent filings in Europe has risen by more than 20%.

World’s Five Largest Intellectual Property Offices (IP5) Meet in Silicon Valley

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hosted a meeting of the heads of the world’s five largest intellectual property offices in Cupertino, California.  Known as the IP5, members include the USPTO, the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), and the State Intellectual Property Office…

The Unified European Patent: What it Means for International Enterprises Seeking Protection on the Continent

On February 19, 24 members of the 27 European Union signed a unified patent court agreement in Brussels, Belgium. Bulgaria is expected to sign once it completes internal administrative procedures, but because the single patent will only need to be in English, German or French, only the countries of Poland and Spain have so far refused to join in the effort.

Proposed Changes to the Hong Kong Patent System

In 2011, an Advisory Committee (AC) was instructed by the Hong Kong Government to conduct a review of the Hong Kong Patent System. On 7 February 2013, the AC issued its formal Report (209 pages long) recommending various changes to the system which will affect not only Patentees, but the entire Patent profession in Hong Kong. In general, the AC’s Report recommends three changes which can be described as being quite bold in some areas, whilst at the same time, being conservative as the changes permit much of the existing system to be retained.