European IPR Helpdesk Bulletin Issue (20)

We are pleased to inform you that a new issue of the European IPR Helpdesk Bulletin has been released and is now available online.

Does your business have know-how, inventions or brands? Then you have intangible assets that can be brought to the market to create new revenues and increase profits.

This Bulletin issue is largely dedicated to IP Commercialisation comprising the different available mechanisms to realise economic values from Intellectual Property (IP).

Particular attention is given to licensing as the most common IP commercialisation tool presenting specificities depending on the Intellectual Property involved.

An insight on licensing and Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) is offered by an article of Mr Matteo Sabattini and Ms Alessandra Mosca from Sisvel.

Read our interviews to discover the point of view of European SMEs on IP management and commercialisation.

As always, the Bulletin reports information about past IPR events together with some fresh news on the Helpline service. In addition, it contains the usual patent quiz and a new IP commercialisation crossword.

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Technology Licensing-in

Successful industries survive on continuous innovation, bringing to the market new products and services by developing or acquiring cutting-edge technology. The process of acquiring the rights related to a third party’s technology through a licence agreement is indicated as technology licensing-in.

This fact sheet analyses the most relevant issues related to technology licensing-in, giving readers an overview of the preliminary steps and practical suggestions to follow in order to get prepared for future negotiations.

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EPO website's new “Searching for patents” area

The European Patent Office (EPO) has just updated the "Searching for patents" area of its website.

The changes introduce a new structure to the area, grouping products according to their primary use and providing technical, legal or business information.

The fourth section, called "Helpful resources", provides supporting materials such as:

  • basic explanations and links for less experienced searchers;
  • support for using Asian patent information;
  • information on events, training, publications; and
  • a list of patent information centres that can offer support locally.

The “Searching for patents” area of the EPO website is accessible here.


Article: “WIPO’s Budapest Treaty facilitates biotech patenting”

With the rapid development of genetic engineering and monitoring technologies, studies on microorganisms are now faster and deeper more than ever before.

From the intellectual property perspective, protecting inventions related to microorganisms - especially in international scale - can be trickier because of their characteristics and complex nature.

The WIPO article on biotech patenting focuses on the challenges in patenting in biotechnology and introduces the international mechanism that facilitates biotech patenting: the Budapest Treaty.

Read the full article here.


"Filing strategies, enforcement and clearing the path in a Unitary Patent world"

In their article on Managing Intellectual Property magazine, the patent practitioners Thomas Prock and Michael Moore are discussing the upcoming unitary patent protection system and practical conclusions on its future implementation.

“The fragmented nature of the current European patent system runs contrary to the EU ideal of a unified market and has provided the political momentum behind the multi-national Unitary Patent (UP) and the Unified Patent Court (UPC) system.”

Please click here to read the full article.


European patents to cover Moldova

As of 1 November, patent applicants will be able to validate their European patent applications and patents in Moldova, obtaining the same rights and legal protection as national patents granted in Moldova.

This is the result of a validation agreement signed between the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Republic of Moldova that brings to 42 the number of countries for which patent protection can be obtained simultaneously with a single European patent application.

Further information is available here.


Italy joins the unitary patent

Italy has joined the unitary patent system, becoming the 26th member of the enhanced cooperation on unitary patent protection. This decision will make the unitary patent even more attractive for companies and inventors, who will be able to use the single procedure for the registration of patents within the EU territory except Spain and Croatia.  

The unitary patent system will need to be ratified by at least 13 states, including France, Germany and the UK to enter into force, which is expected to take place by the end of 2016. Once in force, the unitary patent will be an important tool for European innovative start-ups and SMEs aiming at operating cross-border.

Further information is available here.


Full-length Chinese documents in English are now available within PATENTSCOPE

Users of PATENTSCOPE, the on-line patent search tool developed by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), can now benefit from translation of full-length Chinese documents into English and vice versa thanks to WIPO Translate, the WIPO machine translation service.

The PATENTSCOPE database allows the users to search 49 million patent documents with collections from more than 40 national and regional offices including 2,8 million published PCT applications in full text format.

For more information, please click here.

To access the PATENTSCOPE database, please click here.


New Examination Guidelines from the European Patent Office

The European Patent Office (EPO) has published updated versions of the two following guidelines for examination of patent applications:

  • November 2015 edition of “The Guidelines for Search and Examination at the EPO as PCT authority”: giving instructions on the practice and procedure to be followed in handling of international applications before the EPO as International Searching Authority and International Preliminary Examining Authority.
  • November 2015 edition of “The Guidelines for Examination in the EPO”: giving instructions on the practice and procedure to be followed in the examination of European applications and patents in accordance with the European Patent Convention and its Implementing Regulations.

Both guidelines will enter into force as from 1 November 2015.

Further information, along with the full texts of the updated guidelines, is available at the following links:

The Guidelines for Search and Examination at the EPO as PCT authority

The Guidelines for Examination in the EPO