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Why not file your priority application as an EPC?

epo_member_states_10_10The “obvious” thing for a UK patent applicant is to file a UK priority application; but in a survey of 10 major UK companies with in-house departments, 5 had a policy of filing EPC priority applications with a search request. An Espacenet search revealed that BASF, Bayer, Philips, and Siemens were also filing EPC priority applications. In total, the EPO receive 30 000 “first” applications per year.

The author may as well not beat about the bush: in his opinion, in many technological areas (subject to national security considerations), EPC priority filings should be the norm for any UK-based serious international patenter (and at least for German- and Dutch-based ones, too). And a client who is deterred by the upfront cost of an EPC priority filing compared with a UK priority filing arguably should not be in the patenting game at all, when the total cost of patent protection in the G7 countries over the full 21 years from priority is around £ 100 000 in current prices, and when even coverage only in the UK, the USA, and Germany costs a substantial proportion of this. (more…)

Intellectual Property Bill – Ready for Royal Assent

Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament

Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament

The Intellectual Property Bill returned to the House of Lords on 2 April 2014 as part of the “ping pong” stage. The Lords considered the amendments to the Bill made in the House of Commons. As noted in our earlier post the Commons only made amendments to Clauses 3 and 13 (these clauses relate to the qualification criteria for unregistered design right and the criminal offence for copying a registered design).

There was a brief amount of discussion in the Lords (see transcript here) but both amendments were approved. The Bill will now move to Royal Assent and will pass into law.

The Intellectual Property Bill contains a clause related to the Unified Patent Court (see Clause 17). However, it is not expected that the UK will ratify the unified patent court agreement until mid 2015.

Mark Richardson 8 April 2014

New EBA Referral: The Questions are Published

 

epologoAs you will have seen in previous posts, IPCopy has been tracking the progress of the latest referral to the EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal which concerns the scope to which clarity under Article 84 EPC can be raised in post grant proceedings. The Decision of the Technical Board of Appeal 3.2.08 in the case in question (T0373/12, on EP1814480) was published online late last week.
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London Technology Week (16-20 June) – Keltie IP Clinics and IP Seminar

ltw_part-of_button_180x150London Technology Week runs from 16 June to 20 June and, as noted on the London Technology Week website celebrates the vibrancy of tech innovation in our capital city. In a week of face to face events, businesses – from enterprise to start-ups – government, academia and general enthusiasts will come together to showcase London as a global tech leader.”

As part of London Technology Week, Keltie LLP will be holding a series of intellectual property (IP) clinics between 16 and 20 June where we will be able to provide advice relating to patents, trade marks and designs. On the 16 June from 2.30pm, Keltie will also be holding an IP seminar covering subjects such as:

  • An introduction to Intellectual Property (covering all forms of IP such as patents, trade marks and designs)
  • Brand Management (what to do when you’re choosing your brand identity)
  • Patents for computer-implemented inventions
  • Tax savings with UK patents (UK’s Patent Box)
  • Licensing agreements

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Pyramid Building with SCOTUS: Alice v CLS Bank

CapitolThe Alice v CLS Bank Supreme Court case has generated a lot of heat and light recently with over 50 amicus briefs filed, countless blog posts, and even a slew of newspaper articles on the subject. With commentary from the pro-software patents and anti-software patents side of the fence, the case was billed as either merely an opportunity to validate recent cases on the issue of patentable subject matter and section 101 (Bilski, Mayo & Myriad) or the End of Days Software Patents. Monday (31 March 2014) saw the oral arguments in front of the Supreme Court of the United States. Would this provide an indication of how the case would go? (more…)

Unitary Patent Package – The Ratification Game

EU shirt2We previously reported that both France and Malta had ratified the unified patent court agreement. Despite this we had held off updating the “Ratification” Game post until the European Commission website showed that further instruments of ratification had actually been deposited in Brussels.

So, who would grab second place after Austria? Malta or France or maybe an outsider?

 

Well, we can now reveal that (more…)

 

House of Commons & House of Lords organise game of Ping Pong (Intellectual Property Bill)

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Inter-House Ping Pong

The Report Stage and the third reading of the Intellectual Property Bill took place on 12 March. After some significant discussion time over the last few weeks on all the provisions within the Bill, the IP Bill leaves the Commons with amendments to Clause 3 (Qualification criteria for Unregistered design right) and Clause 13 (the criminal offence for copying a registered design) only. A full list of the Commons Amendments can be found here and marked up versions of the two clauses in question are below.

Since the Commons has made amendments to the Bill, the Lords needs to have another look and (i) agree to the amendments; (ii) disagree with the amendments; or (iii) propose an alternative. When a Bill passes back between the two Houses it is referred to as “ping pong” (or whiff whaff if you prefer….). When the exact wording has been agreed by the two Houses then the Bill will be ready for royal assent. Whiff whaff is currently scheduled for 2 April 2014.

We have taken a quick look at the changes made by the Commons to the Bill down below.

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EPO Divisional Rule Change – 1 April 2014

epologoAs has been reported here and elsewhere the EPO is to change its rules governing the filing of divisional applications with effect from 1 April 2014.

This rule change follows a consultation that ran during March 2013. Although the consultation can still be accessed on the EPO website (here) it is noticeable that the EPO has not published a summary of responses to their “Completed Consultations” page.

Recently however Heli Pihlajamaa, Director of Patent Law at the European Patent Office, spoke in a live webinar session on the new rules and links to the presentation and the video of the seminar have appeared on the EPO website (though for some reason the link to the video recording has subsequently been taken down). (more…)

Much Ado About UK Divisional Deadline Rules (Clarification from the UKIPO)

UKIPOlogoFollowing IPcopy’s post last week regarding the amendment to divisional deadline rules, ipcopymark reached out to the UK Intellectual Property Office to seek clarification over why the rule was being changed and whether the new rule will change any procedures at the UKIPO going forward.

The response from the UKIPO confirmed that there is not intended to be any change to the practice of filing divisional applications at the UKIPO. However, it was confirmed that incoming Rule 19 is being introduced to address a perceived flaw in the drafting of the current Rule 19 in which it could be argued that the two-month divisional period would be reset following the issuance of every communication under Section 18(4) Patents Act 1977. Whether or not you interpret current Rule 19 in this way, the incoming Rule 19 closes this potential loophole.

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IPReg Consultation on simplifying and modernising the examination system for qualifying as a patent attorney

IPRegIPReg has now confirmed that their recent consultation looking at the UK patent attorney exam system has closed. Not surprisingly there were a large number of responses and IPReg is suggesting a minimum of 3 months but more likely 6 months before their conclusions are published.

All the responses will, in time, be published unless you contact them and inform them otherwise.

See below for a selection of published responses to the consultation.

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