An Enhanced European Patent System: new publication on Unitary Patent Protection and the Unified Patent Court

A new explanatory brochure has been published on Unitary Patent Protection and the Unified Patent Court. It provides a brief overview of the system and how it will work.

Click here to read the brochure.

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Exhibition "From Talent to Patent"

The Intellectual Property Office of the Slovak Republic in cooperation with the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava is organising the exhibition “From Talent to Patent”.

This exhibition would like to point out how art-photographic works from children may lead to professional design products. Exhibited works, in a former elementary school in Píla as well as in the premises of the Industrial Property Office of the Slovak Republic, playfully interact with professional creations of students and graduates of the Department of Design, Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava.

For more information, please click here.

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European Parliament paves the way for Europe-wide patent protection

The European Parliament last week backed the Commission's proposal to complete the legal framework for a Europe-wide patent protection, updating existing EU rules on the jurisdiction of courts and recognition of judgments. The legislation will also pave the way for a specialised European patent court – the Unified Patent Court – to take up its work once ratified by all Member States, making it easier for companies and inventors to protect their patents. The court will have specialised jurisdiction in patent disputes, avoiding multiple litigation cases in up to 28 different national courts. This will cut costs and lead to swift decisions on the validity or infringement of patents, thus boosting innovation in Europe.

Ministers agreed on a general approach at the December Justice Council last December. The European Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) voted in favour of the compromise text agreed with the European Commission and the Council of Ministers on 11 February. Following this successful plenary vote, the proposal now needs to be formally adopted by the Council in order to become law. This is expected to happen at the Council meeting in June.

For more information, please click here.

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Patenting Strategy Booklet

EBAN, the European Trade Association from Business Angels Seed Funds and other Early Stage Market Players, presents the “Patenting Strategy Booklet”.

This booklet is aimed at anyone who has to deal with patents at a practical level, with particular emphasis on companies new to IP such as start-ups. Based on over 100 years of IP experience at Kilburn & Strode LLP, this booklet can only touch on the topics but is intended to serve as a useful aide-mémoire.

To read the booklet please click here.

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Raise awareness on IP in the biotech sector

“Biotechnology in Europe: The Tax, Finance and Regulatory Framework and Global Policy Comparison” is a joint report by Ernst & Young and EuropaBio. The reports examines what the continent has to offer to investors, entrepreneurs and researchers alike. It analyses everything from what to be taken into account when importing materials for clinical trials to the best way to exploit intellectual property within Europe’s various jurisdictions, as well as the key global locations on the increasingly important topic of R&D incentives.

Because jurisdictions influence how, when and why investors in biotechnology decide to enter or exit a business, the report weighs up the advantages and disadvantages of individual countries.

In the event that you are interested in why IP is important for biotech companies, we encourage you to read the two documents below!

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A new study on patents and standards

Standardization and intellectual property rights are key contributors to industrial innovation and industrial competitiveness. On the one side, standards ensure rapid diffusion of technologies and interoperability between products. On the other side, patents provide incentives for research and development and facilitate knowledge transfer.

Many standards comprise innovative technologies that are protected by patents. Therefore, in 2013 DG Enterprise and Industry commissioned a fact-finding study on the issue of patents and standards. This fact-finding study analyses the rules and practices developed to ensure efficient licensing of standard-related patents. It also covers barriers to efficient licensing and ideas discussed among stakeholders for dealing with these barriers.

This study has now been published and should help the European Commission in its attempts to improve the European governance of licensing arrangements forstandard essential patents (SEPs). It can also be useful in the (on-going) work of standard setting organizations on their IPR policies and rules.

For further information, please click here.

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Patent filings at the European Patent Office: a new record

Last year patent filings at the European Patent Office (EPO) grew by 2.8%, which is a new record. According to the EPO President Benoît Battistelli, "this is proof that companies from around the world continue to see Europe more and more as a premier hub for innovation”.

As in previous years, most patent filings in 2013 came from outside Europe, particularly the US and Japan.

The EPO highlighted that “European industry maintained its patenting activities at the same level as in the previous year, with marked regional differences, however.” The highest growth rates come from the Netherlands (+17.2%), Denmark (+8.1%), Sweden (+7.5%) but also member states with lower filing levels, such as Portugal (+34.5%), the Czech Republic (+26.5%) and Ireland (+9.4%). Even though Germany has seen a drop in the number of patent filings, it is still the EU member state with the highest percentage of patent filings at the EPO.

For further information, please click here.

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Member States endorse Commission proposal to fill legal gaps for unitary patent protection

Ministers in the Council have today endorsed the compromise agreement on the European Commission's proposal to complete the legal framework for Europe-wide patent protection, updating existing EU rules on the jurisdiction of courts and recognition of judgments. It is the last missing part for the establishment of a Europe-wide patent protection.

As a next step, the European Parliament now needs to vote on its report in plenary, which is expected at the latest in April 2014. The Commission is also encouraging Member States to ratify the Unitary Patent Court Agreement as quickly as possible, and to complete the preparatory work required for the Court to become operational accordingly, so that the first unitary patents can be granted in the shortest possible timeframe.

For further information, please click here.

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New peak at the European Patent Office

The European Patent Office (EPO) received more than 265,000 patent filings in 2013. This is a 2.8% increase over 2012 (257,700 filings), and a new all-time high. Last year, after a high-quality search and examination process, the EPO granted and published 66,700 patents, which was 1.7% more than in 2012 (65,600).

For further information, please click here.

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National law relating to the EPC

With its "National law relating to the EPC" booklet, the European Patent Office aims to provide European patent applicants and proprietors, and all others concerned with the European patent system, with a concise guide to the most important provisions and requirements of the relevant national law in the European Patent Convention (EPC) contracting states.

For further information, please click here.

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