The first EU-wide interactive website dedicated to young people and IP is launched

Ideas Powered, an initiative of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), has launched its website on, the first EU-wide interactive website on intellectual property for young people.

With animated and clear outlook, the website aims to create primary awareness on IP and IP counterfeiting issues for youngsters by providing them accurate information and by seeking young Europeans' active contribution with social media channels, blogs and even with competitions.

To access the press release of the OHIM on this news, please click here.

Nominations for the European Inventor Award 2016 are now open

Just after a few weeks following to the glamorous European Inventor Award 2015 Ceremony, European Patent Office (EPO) has started next year’s award marathon by opening the nominations for 2016. Rewarding the outstanding inventors from around the world; people from industry, research institutes, IP associations and universities, as well as the general public can nominate themselves or put forward a nominee for the following categories:

  • Industry: for outstanding and successful technologies patented by large European companies
  • SMEs: for exceptional inventions at small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • Research: for pioneering inventors working at universities or research institutes
  • Lifetime Achievement: honouring the long-term contribution of an individual European inventor
  • Non-European Countries: for all inventors who are not European nationals but have been granted a European patent

The deadline for submissions is 14 October 2015.

More information is available here.

German Patent and Trade Mark Office joins Global Patent Prosecution Highway

On the 6th of July, the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) has joined the Global Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot, a multilateral pilot programme in which all national and regional patent offices can take part.

The PPH serves to accelerate processing of patent applications through the exchange and mutual use of work products beyond country borders. Within the framework of the Global PPH, applicants have the opportunity to file a request for accelerated examination based on a work product of a participating office involved in the Global PPH. As a consequence, the applicants benefit from the sharing of work results among the offices.

Through the DPMA's joining the Global PPH, there are 21 patent authorities involved in the pilot.

Further information is available here.


Inventive step criterion for patenting

The International Chamber of Commerce Commission on Intellectual Property has published a paper about the inventive step criterion for patenting. The report includes case studies illustrating how Intellectual Property Offices apply the inventive step criterion when assessing patentability. It also summarises the definitions of inventive step and non-obviousness and highlights the principles underlying their assessment.  

The full text of the document is available here.


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.


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.

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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Advocate General’s opinion on standard-essential patent owners’ obligations

In a case (C-170/13) referred by the German Court to the Court of Justice of the European Union on standard-essential patent (SEP), the Advocate General Melchior Wathelet delivered his non-binding opinion to the Court suggesting that the owner of a standard-essential patent that seeks corrective measures or brings an prohibitory injunction without informing the alleged infringer about the infringing action in writing, giving reasons, and specifying the SEP concerned and the manner in which it has been infringed by the infringer, would be liable of abuse of a dominant position.

“The SEP-holder must, in any event, present to the alleged infringer a written offer of a licence on FRAND terms which contains all the terms normally included in a licence in the sector in question, in particular the precise amount of the royalty and the way in which that amount is calculated”, the Advocate General noted.

For more information and to read in full the Advocate General’s opinion, please click here.

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Advocate General recommends dismissing Spain’s challenges to Unitary Patent regulations

The Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union, Yves Bot,  has delivered his opinion on Spain’s actions against the European regulations implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection, and recommended that they must be dismissed.

In the Advocate General’s view “The unitary protection conferred provides a genuine benefit in terms of uniformity and integration, whilst the choice of languages reduces translation costs considerably and safeguards better the principle of legal certainty”.

For more information and to read in full the Advocate General’s opinion, please click here.

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