How to get a European Patent - Guide for Applicants

The European Patent Office (EPO) has just published the updated 16th edition of “How to get a European Patent – Guide for Applicants”.

The "Guide for applicants" has been designed to provide inventors, companies and their representatives with an outline of the procedure involved in applying for a European patent, offering practical advice to smooth the way through the various stages.

Further information along with the full text of the guide is available here.


EPO reveals the finalists for the European Inventor Award 2016

The European Patent Office (EPO) has announced 15 pioneering finalists for this year’s European Inventor Award.

In its 11th edition, EPO once again honours scientists, researchers and engineers who contributed to the world’s technological progress, social development and economic growth with their patented inventions. The awards are given in the five following categories, where three finalists in each have been revealed:

  • Industry
  • Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • Research
  • Non-European countries
  • Lifetime achievement

    In addition to the winners in each category, the public will also select the winner of the Popular Prize by online voting in the run-up to the ceremony.

    The EPO European Inventor Award 2016 ceremony will be held on June 9th in Lisbon, Portugal with the participation of prominent representatives from politics, business, science and industry.

    For more information about the awards and this year's finalists, check EPO's dedicated pages on the European Inventor Awards here.


    Highlights from the EPO’s Annual Report 2015

    The European Patent Office (EPO) released its Annual Report for 2015 in last week’s press conference in Brussels. The results show that in 2015, there has been a rise in both European Patent filings (+1.6%) and applications (+4.8%) compared to 2014, confirming a trend of positive growth that has been witnessed for the sixth year in a row.
    Following the 38 EPO member states (35% of all applications), the USA remains the largest filer, accounting for 24% of all European filings, before Japan with 18% share. Among EPO member states, Germany takes the lead with 11%.
    For the full coverage of the EPO 2015 Annual Report, please click here.

    Intellectual Property made easy

    The United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office has recently created a new series of IP-based animations which aim to explain the different IP rights and how they can benefit business.

    If you want to acquire basic information on Intellectual Property, this suite of 12 short animations is the perfect place for you to start.

    The animations are available at the following link.

    EPO training events - Guidelines2day and Article 84 EPC

    The European Patent Office (EPO) with the support of the epi (Institute of Professional Representatives before the EPO) is organising a series of training events designed for patent attorneys and IP professionals around Europe.

    The events will cover:

    • the impact of the amendments in the new Guidelines for Examination, with the focus on how to optimise patent prosecution before the EPO;
    • procedural changes which are not covered by the Guidelines but which are nevertheless relevant to professional representatives;
    • how the EPO evaluates whether the claims comply with the requirements of art. 84 EPC.

    The speakers will provide sound practical advice using general examples which do not require specific technical knowledge.

    The fee for registration for each event is 320 EUR covering the participation, material and catering.

    Register for the next seminars in Berlin (on the 5th of April)  or in Oslo (on the 7th  of April) by the 13th of March.


    EPO website's new “Searching for patents” area

    The European Patent Office (EPO) has just updated the "Searching for patents" area of its website.

    The changes introduce a new structure to the area, grouping products according to their primary use and providing technical, legal or business information.

    The fourth section, called "Helpful resources", provides supporting materials such as:

    • basic explanations and links for less experienced searchers;
    • support for using Asian patent information;
    • information on events, training, publications; and
    • a list of patent information centres that can offer support locally.

    The “Searching for patents” area of the EPO website is accessible here.


    Article: “WIPO’s Budapest Treaty facilitates biotech patenting”

    With the rapid development of genetic engineering and monitoring technologies, studies on microorganisms are now faster and deeper more than ever before.

    From the intellectual property perspective, protecting inventions related to microorganisms - especially in international scale - can be trickier because of their characteristics and complex nature.

    The WIPO article on biotech patenting focuses on the challenges in patenting in biotechnology and introduces the international mechanism that facilitates biotech patenting: the Budapest Treaty.

    Read the full article here.


    "Filing strategies, enforcement and clearing the path in a Unitary Patent world"

    In their article on Managing Intellectual Property magazine, the patent practitioners Thomas Prock and Michael Moore are discussing the upcoming unitary patent protection system and practical conclusions on its future implementation.

    “The fragmented nature of the current European patent system runs contrary to the EU ideal of a unified market and has provided the political momentum behind the multi-national Unitary Patent (UP) and the Unified Patent Court (UPC) system.”

    Please click here to read the full article.


    European patents to cover Moldova

    As of 1 November, patent applicants will be able to validate their European patent applications and patents in Moldova, obtaining the same rights and legal protection as national patents granted in Moldova.

    This is the result of a validation agreement signed between the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Republic of Moldova that brings to 42 the number of countries for which patent protection can be obtained simultaneously with a single European patent application.

    Further information is available here.