Asian patent information services from the EPO

Are you unfamiliar with Asian patent documentation? Would you like to search Asian patent databases? The European Patent Office (EPO)'s Asian patent service can support you.

A wide range of services are provided by the EPO. For example, their virtual helpdesk answers frequently asked questions on Asian patent systems and also offers step-by-step guides to help you search for Asian patents even if you do not speak the original language. The virtual helpdesk is available free of charge, as well as the following services:

  • finding Asian documents;
  • searching free Asian sources;
  • retrieving online machine translations;
  • understanding Asian patent systems;
  • deciphering document numbers.

Other services are available, but under a fee.

For further information, please click here.

For information on how to search for patents, please consult the fact sheet we prepared on this topic. You can find it here.

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Interested in learning more about IP? Three brand new educational clips available on our website

Are you looking for basic information on IP, or are you particularly interested in IP issues related to FP7 projects? Three educational clips recently published on our website provide you with useful information based on the European IPR Helpdesk training catalogue.

In case you are new to the world of patent, copyright, etc. the first educational clip might be the right choice. In just 20 minutes it provides you with basic concepts and definitions of IP and IPR.

If you are looking for more detailed information on IP issues related to EU-funded Collaborative Projects feel free to watch the clips titled “IP in FP7 – Part 1 & 2”. Key aspects and general rules with regard to IP during the entire life cycle of an FP7 project as well as the different agreements are explained to you in a concise way.

You will find our clips here.

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WIPO new publication: 2012 IP Facts and Figures

The World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) has published the 2012 IP Facts and Figures. This publication includes data on patents, utility models, trademarks and industrial designs and it is focused on application data only. The guide is therefore an important source of information on the global trends of intellectual property activity.

This guide is available online and you may read it in full here.

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New online material from the EPO

The European Patent Office (EPO) has recently released new material as a complement to its e-learning section. The last two very interesting resources are about “Search matters 2012” and “Patents and fiscal modalities in Europe”.

While the first on-line training is a showcase of the EPO patent searching tools, databases, classification schemes and working methods, valuation of intellectual property and taxation of income derived from intellectual property is the content of the second training where an underlying question was "to what extent can and do patent tax régimes support innovation".

To follow these on-line sessions, please click here.

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EU unitary patent: Council move would infringe EU law, says EP rapporteur

The agreement reached by the European Council on 28 and 29 June 2012 settled the location of the Unified Patent Court's seats. However, the heads of state and government suggested that articles 6, 7 and 8 of the draft regulation on the creation of the unitary patent should be deleted. In effect, this would mean that the competence of the European Court of Justice in patent litigation cases would be considerably reduced.

The European Council's move would "infringe EU law" and make the rules "not effective at all", Bernhard Rapkay, responsible for the draft legislation, told the Legal Affairs Committee on Tuesday, July 10. Most Members of the European Parliament strongly criticised the European Council's move and agreed to resume the discussion in September.

For further information, please click here.

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EU unitary patent – the Council reached an agreement on Court seats

Last Friday, the Council reached an agreement on the seat of the Court of First Instance to be competent in respect of actions relating to the validity or infringement of the future EU unitary patent.

It was agreed that the Court would be based in Paris and would have two specialised sections, one in London and the other in Munich. The London seat would deal with proceedings concerning chemistry, including pharmaceuticals, classification C, human necessities and classification A. On the other hand, the Munich Court would have competence for cases related to mechanical engineering, classification F. According to the Council, the division by thematic clusters is required “given the highly specialised nature of patent litigation and the need to maintain high quality standards”.

This means that, in the near future, there will be in the EU a single patent litigation system applicable to the EU unitary patent, which is expected to redure the costs of litigation and the risk of different rulings on the same dispute. Thus, soon it is expected to be possible to file a single patent application to be valid in all participating member states (i.e. the unitary patent), which will be managed by the European Patent Office, where the working languages are English, French and German. Any future conflict concerning the validity or infringement of such unitary patent would then be analysed by the Unified Patent Court.

The unitary patent package will be voted in the European Parliament this month, and after that the Council will be able to adopt the regulations needed to allow its implementation.

For further information, please click here, here and here.

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Focus on user needs is IP5 Heads' main priority

The Heads of the world's five largest intellectual property offices (IP5) met yesterday in Europe to take stock of the progress achieved since the launch of the IP5 cooperation in 2007 and explore ways of further optimising their joint efforts to improve the quality and efficiency of the examination process for patents worldwide. These Offices handle, together, nearly 90% of the world's patent applications.

The IP5 Heads of Office also met with industry representatives from their respective regions. Responding to the views put forward by the industry, the five Heads expressed their common conviction that the focus of future IP5 initiatives should be even more user-directed. They also reflected on the realignment of the 10 IP5 Foundation Projects to address more effectively the challenges of a rapidly evolving IP landscape. A further key issue was the definition and implementation of a joint strategy to improve work-sharing. The Heads reaffirmed, moreover, their commitment to improving the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) as the primary work-sharing framework.

For further information on the meeting, please click here.

For more information on the IP5, please click here.

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What Patent Law for the European Union?

The Centre for International Intellectual Property Studies (CEIPI) organized a conference at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on the topic: "What Patent Law for the European Union?"

This symposium tried to shed some light on the unitary patent instrument that is being decided by the European Institutions. In order to have a better insight on the future mechanism and to reflect on the prospective EU patent system to come, the CEIPI brought together IP experts whose presentations and discussions are made available online for a deeper analysis.

To accede the material and watch the broadcasts, please click here.

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Intellectual property course design manual

The Academy of the European Patent Office (EPO) has released a handbook setting up new teaching content to make it easier for university lecturers to introduce intellectual property into various courses of study and educational programmes.

The manual will be of particular interest to those studying business/economics, innovation management and law. The manual consists of twenty-two modules grouped into five core areas, and can be downloaded in electronic format or ordered as a hard copy for free.

For further information please click here, for downloading or ordering here.

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