Unitary Patent renewal fees

The European Patent Office (EPO) has decided to adopt the “True Top 4” proposal for fees covering the territory of the participating 25 EU Member States and corresponding to the total sum of the renewal fees currently paid for the four most frequently validated countries (Germany, France, UK and the Netherlands). The situation of SMEs has been taken into consideration. The proposal contains a clause for possible revision after four years.

More information is available on the EPO website.

 

Study on intellectual property rights and firm performance in Europe

The Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), acting through the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights, carried out a study on the contribution of intellectual property rights at a company level.

The study is based on official public financial data and covers companies which own patents, trade marks and designs at both national and EU level.

The report of the study shows that SMEs owning intellectual property rights have a significantly higher economic performance due to the benefits associated with their ownership.

Further information and the full text of the study are available here.

 

European IPR Helpdesk Bulletin Issue (17)

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

In this issue we start by providing you with some new important aspects under Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions.            

This Bulletin then brings you useful information related to counterfeiting and IP enforcement in Europe, including the advantages of the IP customs action as an effective tool against counterfeiting and Effective Dispute Resolution, a tool guiding the parties of a proceeding before the OHIM’s Board of Appeals in the resolution of their disputes.

You will also discover the importance of developing an IP protection strategy at the earlier stage of the conception of business models, as well as the functioning of WIPO Translate, a useful tool developed by the World Intellectual Property Organization.

As always, we also bring you a little patent quiz and information about training and events. In addition, this issue also has some fresh news on the Helpline service.

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New video tutorials on PATENTSCOPE

Six new video tutorials have been just made available on the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) website explaining the PATENTSCOPE search system.

PATENTSCOPE is one of the world's largest free search systems for patent information, allowing to search 45 million patent applications from all around the world.

These tutorials allow users to familiarise themselves with the different search interfaces of the database and to learn how to read the result list.

Further information is available here.

EU and Latin America SMEs Intellectual property and Internationalisation study

On behalf of the European Commission - DG GROW, CARSA, in consortium with PwC Luxembourg, London Economics and Innova SpA, is conducting a survey among EU SMEs active in Latin America and Latin American SMEs regarding barriers and needs in the field of protection and enforcement of intellectual property.

If you are EU SMEs entering or active in Latin America or Latin American SMEs with EU business partners, you are strongly encouraged to fulfill the survey. Your contribution will be important to gather input, views and first-hand insights to better understand the process of internationalisation and protection of intellectual property rights in Latin America.

Completing the questionnaire should take only 5-10 minutes.

The survey is available here.

IP management in Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

Intellectual property (IP) management is a very important part of any successful project within the Horizon 2020 framework programme. Marie Skłodowska-Curie (MSC) Actions are not an exception and participants should take the time to understand the IP rules and establish an effective and tailored plan for the protection and exploitation of research results and intellectual property (IP) arising within their projects.
The aim of this fact sheet is to outline the main IP-related issues that participants in Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions should consider in the different stages of their projects.

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European IPR Helpdesk Bulletin Issue (16)

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

An important objective of the former European IPR Helpdesk service was to empower its users to increase their knowledge on Intellectual Property and to develop their capacities to put Intellectual Property into practice. For the next four-year period to come, an important challenge will be to bring the services even closer to the end users and to continue to enhance the number of users reached and the geographical coverage.

Currently several hot topics in the field of Intellectual Property are part of the political agenda in Europe, for example the implementation of the unitary patent in Europe, copyright in the digital age, new legislation about trademark law, and so on. Keeping its users updated about the evolution of these issues and making the changes understandable in order to identify consequent opportunities for researchers and SMEs will be another challenge for the European IPR Helpdesk.

In this first Bulletin issue of the year we have concentrated our efforts on providing you with practical information related to enforcement, IP management and other issues for you to discover.

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Spin-offs: An innovative idea is only the starting point

One day in August 2005, a student of Professor D. Iannuzzi at VU University Amsterdam came to his office because in his experiment on some quantum force measurements, he could not get rid of an artefact of the instrument he was using. To solve that specific problem, Professor Iannuzzi came up with the idea of fiber-top technology.
 
After testing the working principle with some colleagues, Professor Iannuzzi realized that that idea could have many applications well beyond what it was originally devised for. At that time the VU University Amsterdam TTO was still assembling its team and, to avoid slowing down the process, engaged the services of an external patent attorney for the preparation of possible patent applications.

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Intellectual property and business plans

A business plan is a strategic document providing details on how a given innovation is going to be commercialised and brought to the market by an existing company or a newly created venture.

Since the scope of the business plan is to describe not only the business logic behind the commercialisation plans, but also the assets and resources that will make the business successful, the definition of a strong intellectual property (IP) protection and management policy and the business planning exercise are strongly interconnected.

First of all, the IP owned by or accessible to the company owners will strongly influence the business model chosen for operating on the market. Secondly, the business plan will typically refer to intellectual property (IP) and intellectual property rights (IPR)-protected elements to describe the company's unique specificities and the assets and resources that can be called upon for establishing win-win collaborations with clients, partners and investors. Finally, the comparison of those assets with the IPR owned or likely to be acquired by both clients and competitors are to be considered key indicators of the commercial viability of the business and should influence its strategic positioning inside the broader ecosystem.

IP should therefore be taken into consideration both when drafting the global strategy that will be described in the business plan and when actually writing the document itself.

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IP leverage for biotechnical innovations

Biotechnology is a field where technology advances rapidly. For this reason, it is vital for any company operating in this sector to protect the innovations that they generate with Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

In this case study you can see the example of Keygene, an SME that has been able to reap the entire benefit from their intellectual property capital by setting an IP strategy from the outset in line with their core business and put it into operational phases via proper IP management.

Thanks to this IP awareness and the implementation and constant revision of the company’s IP strategy, Keygene is leading the agro-food biotech sector in the EU market. Furthermore, they succeeded in expanding their B2B activities, supplying their products to seeds companies worldwide.