Tecnalia wins the European Innovation Award

Tecnalia, a technological research and development centre, has received the highest award in the field of European innovation for its development of a failure prediction system for Industry 4.0 patented by NEM Solutions. The European Innovation Award was jointly granted to TECNALIA and NEM Solutions by EARTO, the European Association of Research and Technology Organisations, for the “Impact Delivered” category which rewards the best technology transfer practice.

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Public consultation on SPCs and patent research exemptions

The European Commission has opened a public consultation on the supplementary protection certificate (SPC) and the patent research exemption of SPCs. Citizens and stakeholders are invited to provide feedback on their experience and knowledge, which the Commission will analyse to evaluate the relevant legislation in force, as well as to assess the impact of any potential modification of the SPC and patent exemption framework in the EU. 

Find out more about how to submit your contribution here

EPO launches a selection of SME case studies!

Best practices for European SMEs to get the most out of patents

In a highly competitive business environment, Europe’s SMEs need to remain agile and responsive to market conditions. One way of doing this is to invest into R&D and build as well as maintain a strong intellectual property portfolio. But developing and fine-tuning IP strategies is not always easy, particularly for smaller entities, which often have limited resources.

A new publication by the European Patent Office provides concrete examples of how small businesses can use IP to their advantage. It not only illustrates the variety of approaches to using IP and their many advantages, but each study also contains a list of specific recommendations.

What you can learn from the 12 case studies:

-       how to align IP strategy to real business needs

-       the benefits of involving multiple company departments and external expertise in IP strategy definition

-       how to collaborate with universities and research organisations in early-stage research

-       why to make use of free patent information databases to conduct in-depth prior art searches early in the creative process

         before research begins

-       benefits of a strong IP portfolio  to attract investments

-       how to create strategic partnerships with global leaders and ensure a strong and steady market position with the help of

         own patents.

The publication also highlights the benefits that SMEs might expect from the planned Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court. These include savings in time and money, as well as greater legal certainty across the EU market.

We hope this publication will be useful for small and medium-sized companies and their advisors as they can benefit from the experiences and good practices described in the case studies to support their own development and growth.

You can download the studies here: epo.org/sme and please don’t forget to spread the word to anyone that might benefit from them as well.

WIPO Translate

WIPO’s ground-breaking "artificial intelligence"-based translation tool for patent documents is now available in ten languages, marking an important expansion of the highest-quality service yet available for accessing information on new technologies.

Try the new version of the instant translation tool, launched in 2016, here.

SME case studies

The European Patent Office (EPO), in close collaboration with renowned IP experts, has published a set of twelve case studies on a range of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from across Europe.

The studies show how companies can proactively adapt their IP strategy to real business needs, and illustrate the variety of approaches to and advantages of using IP. They also highlight the benefits that SMEs can expect from the planned Unitary Patent. This reform will offer businesses a simpler alternative to the existing system, and introduce a more cost-effective route to broad and uniform patent protection and dispute resolution throughout the participating EU member states.

For further information on this publication and to download the case studies, visit the EPO's website here.

Unitary Patent Guide

The European Patent Office (EPO) has published the first edition of the "Unitary Patent Guide".

This guide aims to:

  • provide companies, inventors and their representatives with an outline of the procedure involved in obtaining a Unitary Patent from EPO once it has granted a European patent on the basis of the provisions laid down in the European Patent Convention (EPC),
  • deal with the accessory procedures relating to Unitary Patents and
  • give an overview of the rules governing the payment of renewal fees for Unitary Patents.

You can access the Unitary Patent Guide on EPO's website, here.

Aquafragma: Building up a successful patenting strategy for an EU-funded project

In this new case study, Dion Toumazis & Associates, a consultancy firm of architects and engineers from Cyprus, tells us about its project: Aquafragma. The case study explains how the company got inspired for developing the project and how its IP strategy was shaped with the help of the Enterprise Europe Network and the European IPR Helpdesk. 

European IPR Helpdesk Bulletin Issue (26)

We are pleased to inform you that Issue 26 of the European IPR Helpdesk Bulletin has been published and is now available online.

This Bulletin issue is largely dedicated to software and its importance for business.

An article from Teresa Gomez-Diaz, a Research Engineer at CNRS/LIGM, sets out the basics of software protection and the concept of free and open source software while the next article, by Stefano Gentile, Legal Officer of the European Commission's Central IP Service, focuses on the recently released version 1.2 of the European Union Licence.

Sigmar Lampe, Counsel IP and Licensing at the Université du Luxembourg, provides an overview of the general regime of software patentability in Europe.

In addition, an interview with Barker Brettell, a law firm based in the UK, will assist you in better understanding computer-implemented inventions in Europe and will provide you with some guidance on how software companies can best manage their software-related intellectual property rights. Furthermore, BMAT, a Spanish company operating in the music industry, shares with us its expertise in this field in an interview.

As per usual, the Bulletin reports information about past IPR events together with the latest news from the Helpline service. This time you will also find a short article regarding the 2017 Campaign of the EU Open4Business series of events, as well as our brand new software crossword quiz and the usual patent quiz.

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