New Examination Guidelines from the European Patent Office

The European Patent Office (EPO) has published updated versions of the two following guidelines for examination of patent applications:

  • November 2015 edition of “The Guidelines for Search and Examination at the EPO as PCT authority”: giving instructions on the practice and procedure to be followed in handling of international applications before the EPO as International Searching Authority and International Preliminary Examining Authority.
  • November 2015 edition of “The Guidelines for Examination in the EPO”: giving instructions on the practice and procedure to be followed in the examination of European applications and patents in accordance with the European Patent Convention and its Implementing Regulations.

Both guidelines will enter into force as from 1 November 2015.

Further information, along with the full texts of the updated guidelines, is available at the following links:

The Guidelines for Search and Examination at the EPO as PCT authority

The Guidelines for Examination in the EPO


WIPO Intellectual Property Advantage database

The World Intellectual Property Organization IP Advantage database contains a wide range of case studies giving real examples on intellectual property protection (patents, trade marks, and industrial designs), management and exploitation. The database is an extensive source of information and best practices for Small and Medium-sized enterprises dealing with IP.  

You can access the database here.


OHIM's report on the economic cost of IPR infringement in sports equipment sector

A new study of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), shows that the sales lost due to counterfeiting of sports equipment – not including sportswear – correspond to 6.5% of all sales in this sector across the 28 EU Member States.

The study, released through the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights, entrusted to OHIM, also assesses the indirect effects of the counterfeit trade such as job losses.

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


Article on Patent licensing and cross-border insolvency

The Licensing Executives Society International (LESI) has realised an article on “Patent licensing and cross-border insolvency” written by the former LESI President Kevin Nachtrab.

The article deals with patent licenses from private international law aspect and discusses the two different regimes of cross-border insolvency proceedings under UNCITRAL (United Nations Commission on International Trade Law) Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency and European Council's related Regulation by giving concrete examples.

Please click here to read the full article.

European IPR Helpdesk Bulletin Issue (18)

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.

This Bulletin issue firstly presents Intellectual Property as an economic value for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) by introducing the IPR Business Insight. Reading this issue, you will also discover that companies which own intellectual property are more successful on the market and that different motives behind patenting exist depending on the size of the enterprise.

Thinking on the growing importance of the Internet as a business tool for SMEs, the Bulletin features an article on hyperlinking giving practical recommendations on how to avoid IPR infringement. Regarding the EU funded projects, this issue offers an interesting article on the applicability of the Horizon 2020 IP rules in Eurostars.

Furthermore, OHIM introduces the Harmonised Database and its advantages for trade mark applicants when building their list of goods and services.

As always, the issue reports information about training and events together with some fresh news on the Helpline service. In addition, it contains the usual patent quiz and a brand new trade mark crossword for those who enjoy challenges.

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National collection of the UK now available in PATENTSCOPE

PATENTSCOPE is a WIPO global database providing access to international Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications in full text format on the day of publication, as well as to patent documents of participating national and regional patent offices.

Over 2,8 millions of records of the national patent collection of the United Kingdom, dating from as far back as 1782, have just been added in PATENTSCOPE, and thus they are now searchable in the tool.

Further information is available here.


A new online platform on renewable energy innovation

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in co-operation with the EPO and the International Electrotechnical Commission have launched a new online platform giving access to the world's largest collection of global renewable energy standards and patent documents. Also known as INSPIRE, the International Standards and Patents in Renewable Energy platform is the first and most complete solution of its kind. Indeed, the patents section contains information on over two million patent documents relating to carbon mitigation technologies from PATSTAT - a patent statistics database and Espacenet - a public online patent search tool. The standards section enables users to search through a database of more than 400 internationally used standards and explains what standards are, how they can be used and why they are important.  

You can read more and access the INSPIRE platform here.


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.