New expert group on patent law in the field of biotechnology

Last week the European Commission has decided to set up an expert group on the development and implications of patent law in the field of biotechnology and genetic engineering. The group must include experts in intellectual property law and administration, public and industrial research and development, life sciences and biotechnology. The experts should deliver a report on this complex matter, which the European IPR Helpdesk is looking forward to read.

For further information on this expert group, please click here.

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EPO’s Patent Translate service: new languages added

The EPO provides a free automatic translation service on its online patent database Espacenet. This translation service is called Patent Translate and allows the “access to state-of-the-art technologies for European inventors and businesses by removing the language barrier from patent documentation," according to EPO President Benoît Battistelli.

Last week, the EPO added a second set of European languages to Patent Translate, which includes Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Norwegian and Polish. This means that now you are able to make “on-the-fly-translation from, and into, English for thirteen languages” of documents in Espacenet.

For further information, please click here.

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Cooperative Patent Classification: a new patent classification system

The European Patent Office (EPO) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will start using a new patent classification system on January 2013. This so-called Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) is the result of the efforts of the EPO and the USPTO to develop a common classification system that will be used by the two offices in the patent procedure.

To prepare the launch of this new system, yesterday the EPO and the USPTO made available the "CPC launch package", which includes the following documents:

  • the CPC scheme
  • 59 final CPC definitions (out of 625) and
  • an ECLA to CPC to IPC concordance table.

According to EPO President Battistelli, " the CPC will be a stepping stone towards a more general harmonisation of the world's patent system."

For further information, please click here and here.

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PCT paper version in Italian, German and Portuguese

WIPO has published revised paper versions of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and Regulations under the PCT, as in force from 1 July 2012, in Italian, German and Portuguese, in addition to Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

They can be bought from the WIPO e-bookshop. The electronic texts of the Patent Cooperation Treaty and the Regulations under the PCT, as in force from 1 July 2012, are also available in all of the above-mentioned languages on the PCT website.

For further information, please click here

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Important changes for PCT applicants

Further to changes to the U.S. patent law under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), the assignee or other person to whom the inventor is under an obligation to assign the invention, or who otherwise shows sufficient proprietary interest in the matter, may be the applicant for the purposes of the U.S. designation. This will have important repercussion on the international filings under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) administered by the WIPO.

Even though it is currently foreseen that the amendments to the PCT Regulations will enter into effect only as from 1 January 2013, the possibility to stop indicating the inventor as applicant will nevertheless exist for international applications filed on or after 16 September 2012.

For further information, please click here

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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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