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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IP leverage for biotechnical innovations

Biotechnology is a field where technology advances rapidly. For this reason, it is vital for any company operating in this sector to protect the innovations that they generate with Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

In this case study you can see the example of Keygene, an SME that has been able to reap the entire benefit from their intellectual property capital by setting an IP strategy from the outset in line with their core business and put it into operational phases via proper IP management.

Thanks to this IP awareness and the implementation and constant revision of the company’s IP strategy, Keygene is leading the agro-food biotech sector in the EU market. Furthermore, they succeeded in expanding their B2B activities, supplying their products to seeds companies worldwide.

PCT fee reductions for SMEs

The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) assists applicants in seeking patent protection internationally for their inventions, helps patent offices with their patent granting decisions, and facilitates public access to a wealth of technical information relating to those inventions.  By filing one international patent application under the PCT, applicants can simultaneously seek protection for an invention in 148 countries throughout the world.

Reduction of up to 90% in certain PCT fees (Transmittal, International Filing, Search and Preliminary Examination) may be available to qualifying Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) under certain conditions. 

Further information is available in the PCT fee tables here.

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Patents and Standards: A modern framework for standardisation involving intellectual property rights

The European Commission has launched a new consultation on the interplay between standardisation and intellectual property rights (IPR) such as patents.

The purpose of the present consultation is to allow stakeholders interested in standardisation involving patents to bring to the Commission's attention their views on:

  • how the current framework governing standardisation involving patents performs and
  • how it should evolve to ensure that standardization remains efficient and adapted to the fast-changing economic and technological environment.

This consultation will be open until January 31st, 2015.

For further information, please click here.

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EPO launch of new online filing tool

Continuing to improve the quality of services to its users by establishing a one-stop shop for applicants, the European Patent Office (EPO) has launched a new system for the online filing of patent applications.

"The launch of the new online filing system version 1.8 today constitutes a further significant move on the way to modernising the EPO's IT services as agreed with our member states," said EPO President Benoît Battistelli. "Following on to the successful launch of the mailbox, the new system supports the overall strategy of the Office to equip the European patent system with the best possible IT environment in order to reduce administrative costs for applicants. It also helps to align the European and PCT procedures under the same tool," he added.

Accessible through a browser interface, the new online filing system is web-based and does not require any installations or security updates by the user, which responds directly to a long-standing request of patent applicants. It fully supports patent applications filed both under the European Patent Convention and the Patent Cooperation Treaty, also including subsequently filed documents for both procedures.

For more information, please click here.

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EPO Patent Information News issue 3/2014 is available online

Patent Information News is a quarterly publication that informs European patent information users of new developments in the area. It covers legal status data, bibliographic data, raw data, tips on Espacenet and other services, and much more.

To download this issue and subscribe to receive further editions, please click here.

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WIPO Magazine - recent article on EU’s Unitary Patent

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has published a new issue of its Magazine. As usual, the magazine is full of interesting articles. However, one in particular caught the attention of the European IPR Helpdesk: "Making sense of Europe’s Unitary Patent". In this article you can read about the new unitary patent system, how it is expected to work and when it is likely to come into force.

To read WIPO’s Magazine, click here.

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European patent validation agreement signed between the EPO and Tunisia

The European Patent Office (EPO), and the Tunisian Minister for Industry, Energy and Mines, signed an agreement on the validation of European patents for Tunisia.

Under the terms of the agreement, European patent applicants and proprietors will be able to validate the legal effects of their European patents and applications on Tunisian territory, even though Tunisia is not an EPO member state. Validated European patent applications and patents will have the same legal effect as Tunisian national applications and patents, and will be subject only to Tunisian patent legislation.

"This is a strategic breakthrough for the patent system in Tunisia", declared EPO President Benoît Battistelli. "The agreement will simplify access to patent protection in Tunisia for European patent applicants and proprietors. Ultimately it will help to strengthen innovation in the country and open up new industrial and commercial prospects for foreign investors."

For more information, please click here.

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International Protection of ICT Intellectual Property and the Internationalization of ICT R&D

The Joint Research Centre has published a report on the internationalisation of ICT R&D. Firstly, this report analyses the international protection of ICT through the examination of international patent filings. In the second part of the report, the experts examine the patterns and dynamics of the ICT R&D internationalisation process.

To read this report, please click here.

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