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USPTO Guidance on Subject Matter Eligibility

USThe USPTO has issued Interim Guidance on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility for US Examiners determining eligibility under 35 U.S.C. 101 in view of the recent decisions in Alice, Myriad and Mayo. The guidance is interim in nature only and the USPTO expects to update it in response to feedback. Comments may be submitted to the USPTO until 16 March 2015. (more…)

The Unitary Patent Package: Two years on. Where are we now? (Overview of the Court)

Unified patent courtBack in December 2012 it was announced, in an historic agreement, that the European Parliament had adopted two regulations relating to the creation of the unitary patent. A third element of the unitary patent package, the agreement on the unified patent court, was signed in February 2013 and the EPO expected the first unitary patent to roll off the production line in Spring 2014. It’s now nearly the end of 2014 and we’ve not met the original, highly ambitious implementation date but there has been significant progress in delivering the new system.

Starting this week IPcopy is taking a look (in traditional IPcopy Q&A styleTM) at what the unitary patent package is and where we are. Unbelievably we’ve never really covered the actual structure of the new Unified Patent Court and so here, as your starter for 10, is an overview of the UPC itself. (more…)

Keltie is Moving Office!

London Bridge

No.1 London Bridge

Keltie LLP is pleased to announce that we will be moving to a new office on 22 December. For the first time in our history we’ll be heading “South of the River” and will be located at No. 1 London Bridge overlooking the Thames and HMS Belfast in one direction and the London Bridge redevelopment and the Shard in the other direction. (more…)

Unitary Patent Package – The Ratification Game (Malta Ratifies the UPC Agreement)

EU shirt2

Update (10 December 2014)

According to the website of the Council of the European Union, Malta deposited its instrument of ratification on 9 December 2014 to become the sixth country to complete its ratification formalities. Malta joins Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, France and Austria as one of the six countries who have completed their ratification processes.

Now that Malta has joined the “ratification” group it means that the “Malta Problem”, which is discussed in depth here, will kick in once the unitary patent system is up and running. In a nutshell, no European patent application filed before 1 March 2007, and which is still pending, will be eligible to become a unitary patent (assuming it grants after the unitary patent system goes live).

Recent unitary patent themed seminars have given the impression that additional UPC ratifications in 2014 were unexpected so this news is something of a surprise. However, we had heard suggestions back in January this year that Malta might have ratified. If the news story we picked up on earlier in the year was correct then presumably Malta delayed depositing its instrument of ratification for nearly a year for some reason.

IPcopy’s ratification infographic has been updated to reflect the news from Malta (for an answer to the question “What’s up with this infographic?“, please see the bottom of the post!”).

Ratification Dec 2014 - Malta

(more…)

Unitary Patent: News Nuggets (ERA Conference – December 2014)

EU flagOn 4th and 5th December IPcopy attended the ERA conference “Preparing for the Unitary Patent Package” at the Old Hall in Lincoln’s Inn*.

The latest progress and developments relating to the implementation of the Unitary Patent Package (UPP) were on the menu and the conference included a distinguished group of speakers, many of whom are involved directly in the implementation process. We’ll try and post some more in depth comment in the next week or so on a couple of the talks/subjects discussed but in the meantime here’s some nuggets of news…. (more…)

UKIPO: Green Patents – Statistics

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This may not be what the UKIPO had in mind for “green technology”!

Have you ever had a client go a little bit “Maverick and Goose” and scream “I feel the need…..the need for speed!”?

No, me neither, but sometimes a client does want to know what can be done to speed up the often painfully slow prosecution process and secure a patent grant (or at least decision) as soon as possible.

The UKIPO offers three options for speeding up prosecution of a patent application: combined search and examination (CSER); accelerated search and/or examination; and, early publication. While CSER and early publication are available on request, justification needs to be given to get accelerated search and/or examination. One reason may be that you believe there is an infringement occurring and you need an early grant to enable action to be taken.

An alternative route to requesting accelerated search and/or examination however is via the Green Channel which allows applicants to request accelerated prosecution if their invention has some kind of environmental benefit. But, how popular is this option? (more…)

Unitary patent: 17th Draft of Rules of Procedure – What’s changed?

Unified patent courtThe 17th draft of the Rules of Procedure of the Unified Patent Court Agreement appeared online recently in advance of the oral hearing in Trier tomorrow (26 November 2014). We’ve taken a quick look over the changes to highlight a few points that have changed. (more…)

Road to nowhere? When EP patent applications are still pending over 20 years from filing

epologoA patent is a legal right enabling the owner to stop someone else making use of an invention. Once granted a patent will provide the owner the exclusive right to prevent others from making, using, selling, importing or distributing the patented invention without permission for a period of up to 20 years from filing (assuming the renewal fees continue to be paid).

So far so good, right? But what happens when a patent application doesn’t make it to grant within the period of 20 years from filing? What happens then? And why would you still want to prosecute a patent application for 20 years anyway? (more…)

Unitary Patent: AG to Spain “Bot says Not” (AG dismisses Spanish Challenges to Unitary Patent)

EU flagThe Advocate General’s opinions on the two Spanish actions (C-146/13, C-147/13) against the Unitary Patent Package were published today. A Press Release has also been published.

Long story short? Sorry Spain!*

*(At least as far as the Advocate General is concerned. The CJEU’s ruling on the matter will follow at some point and though it might seem likely that the Court will follow the AG, that isn’t necessarily so). (more…)

The unitary patent and double patenting – will the UK allow it?

GB+EU flagToday on IPcopy an issue that was raised during the recent consultation relating to the implementation of the Unified Patent Court Agreement and the two unitary patent regulations into UK law – Double Patenting. (more…)

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