Patent

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.

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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).

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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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The German Patent and Trade Mark Office allows online inspection of patent and utility model files

As of January 2014, electronic file inspection of patent and utility model files is possible at the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA).

From now on, parts of files can also be inspected online. The documents available for electronic inspection include office actions, decisions, search reports as well as communications relevant to the procedure and other parts of files in PDF format. Entering the file number and clicking on the button "File inspection" in the free-of-charge information service DPMAregister will lead you to the requested information. All granted patents, registered utility models as well as all applications filed that have already been published on or after 21 January 2013 will be available.

For further information, please click here.

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EPO Patent Information Conference 2014

Patent analysis, patent visualisation and the role of patent information in the strategy decision-making process have pride of place in this year's programme of the EPO Patent Information Conference.

The conference will also look at patent ownership and how to track down who owns patents; it will spotlight legal status data from Asia and take a look at future trends in patent searching.

Date: 
Tue, 11/04/2014 to Thu, 11/06/2014

European Commission proposal to pave way for unitary patent backed by Ministers

Justice Ministers have reached agreement on a European Commission proposal to complete the legal framework for Europe-wide patent protection. The proposal will update EU rules on the jurisdiction of courts and recognition of judgements and thereby pave the way for a specialised European patent court – the Unified Patent Court – to become operational. 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, boosting innovation in Europe.

The European Parliament now needs to agree on the proposal before it can become law. The Parliament’s Legal Affairs (JURI) Committee is expected to vote on its report in February 2014, with a final plenary vote expected the following month.

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.

To read the press release and access further information, please click here.

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D.A Glass: IP opportunity with the support of the Enterprise Europe Network

This case study tells how an SME can succeed in filing patent applications with the support of the Enterprise Europe Network. Having proper competences and cooperating closely with international network partners, EEN representatives assist in developing the potential and innovative capacity of SMEs. EEN partners facilitate direct contact with university experts and patent agents. Such contacts are helpful in the development of new products which are the subject of patent applications filed by network clients.

Additionally, consulting services related with intellectual property rights, provided by Enterprise Europe Network representatives, contribute to raising awareness of patent protection, trade marks and copyrights. In this particular case, the support in the procedures related with ensuring patent protection for newly developed technological solutions was invaluable for the company, especially in formal and legal aspects.

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Global Patent Filings See Fastest Growth in 18 Years

According to the 2013 report on the World Intellectual Property Indicators from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), patent filings grew by 9.2% (2.35 million applications filed) in 2012. Utility model, industrial designs and trade mark filings have also increased in this period. As the WIPO Director General Francis Gurry said “following the 2009 financial crisis, global intellectual property (IP) filings and global economic output have followed diverging paths”.

The report shows that patent filings grew by 9.2% in 2012, “representing the fastest growth recorded in the past 18 years”. The increase was mainly due to strong growth in filings at the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO). In fact, in 2012 China was at the top of the ranking for the four types of IP (patents, utility models, trade marks and industrial designs).

In this year's edition, there is also a special section on the migration patterns of researchers, using information gathered from the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications.

To read the report, please click here and for further information here.

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European Commission proposal to pave the way for unitary patent backed by Ministers

Justice Ministers have reached agreement on a European Commission proposal to update EU rules on the jurisdiction of courts and recognition of judgements (the so-called “Brussels I Regulation”) and thereby pave the way for the Unified Patent Court. This court will have specialised jurisdiction in patent disputes, avoiding multiple litigation in the EU and consequently reducing costs.

To become law, this proposal still requires the agreement of the European Parliament.

For further information, please click here and here.

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IP5 offices statistical report

The Five IP Offices (IP5 Offices) - the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO), and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) – have published their annual compilation of patent statistics.

According to this report, the IP5 Offices granted 923 979 patents in 2012, which represents an increase of 17% in relation to the previous year. To read the report in full, please click here.

For further information, please click here.

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