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EPO prosecution delays and the European Convention on Human Rights

epologoA recent case decided by the EPO’s Board of Appeal has tackled the issue of delays in prosecution and noted that, for the application in issue, the duration of the first instance proceedings (12 years) amounted to an excessive delay. Reference was made in the reasons of the decision to other cases in which the Applicant’s rights under Article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights have been infringed. (more…)

Intellectual Property in the Oil & Gas sector

Oil rigThe UK’s Oil and Gas industry is, according to the UK Government press release last week, its largest industrial sector worth around £19 billion and accounting for 375,000 jobs within the economy. It is estimated that the oil that can still be exploited from the North Sea may be equivalent to 50% of all the oil exploited to date. The decommissioning business is forecast to be around £45 billion in the next 25 years or so.

Against this backdrop however the oil and gas sector is in the midst of a challenging time with the oil price in the $30 a barrel area, down from $90-120 a barrel just a couple of years ago.

In response to the ongoing situation in the oil and gas industry sector, the UK Government has announced a range of measures including a £1.3 billion package of reforms in the March 2015 budget. The Oil and Gas Authority was also established in April last year to improve collaboration and productivity, attract investment and to create jobs in the sector. (more…)

UPC developments: Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co’s Patents Seminar

IMG_8533-1The always entertaining and informative Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co’s annual patents seminar was held last week and included a round-up of recent developments relating to the unitary patent and UPC. (more…)

UK Registered Design Fees – Consultation

Design figureThe UKIPO is currently running a consultation that proposes changes in registered design fees. According to the consultation page on the UK Gov website the consultation arises from the development of a new digital design service for design customers. The new design service is expected to streamline the registration and renewal process with an associated reduction in operation costs. The government needs (wants?) to pass on these cost savings to the customer, hence the consultation. The proposed changes would significantly reduce application and renewal fees for UK registered designs. (more…)

Unitary Patent Package – The Ratification Game (Finland completes its ratification formalities)

EU shirt2Update (19 January 2016)

According to the website of the Council of the European Union, Finland has now deposited its instrument of ratification (on 19 January 2016) to become the ninth country to complete its ratification formalities. Finland joins Portugal, Luxembourg, Malta, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, France and Austria as one of the nine countries who have completed their ratification processes.

The unitary patent system of course requires 13 countries to ratify including the UK, France and Germany.

UPC Finland

(more…)

Changes to accelerated prosecution (PACE) at the EPO

epologoThe EPO offers a number of mechanisms for expediting the grant procedure. As noted in the EPO’s November 2015 notice these include:

  • PACE (see below for changes)
  • Waiving the confirm to proceed notification under rule 70(2) EPC
  • Waiving the rules 161/162 EPC communication
  • Waiving a further communication under rule 71(3) EPC
  • Early entry into the European phase

During post grant proceedings the above EPO Notice also highlights accelerated processing of oppositions where infringement proceedings have been instituted and accelerated processing before the Boards of Appeal.

From 1 January 2016, (Happy New Year everyone!), the EPO has tweaked the operation of the PACE programme slightly. Full details can be found in the EPO’s PACE Notice dated 30 November 2015. The highlights are as follows: (more…)

2015’s Top 10 Posts on IPcopy

Yeah, of course I'm excited it's Christmas....

Yeah, of course I’m excited it’s Christmas….

As we contemplate the possibility that another recipe from “101 Things to do with Cold Turkey” is going to be needed to shift the last of the Christmas food, we thought we’d take a quick look back at the top 10 most read posts that we published this year. (more…)

USPTO: Beyond the Final Frontier (What happens after a Final Office Action)

USThe US patent prosecution process can become a bit confusing once the application reaches the “final” Office Action stage. The “final” nature of the Office Action (OA) means that the Examiner has rejected the claims at least two times. However, it is by no means the end of the process with after-final amendments, appeal and a request for continued examination often being on the cards.

The various options available to the applicant were the subject of a recent webinar that IPcopy attended and what follows is a summary of the webinar (any errors clearly being the work of the author of this post!). (more…)

UPC: Double patenting, Changes to Patents Act, Opt-out Register UI & Taskforce update

IMG_8533-1Christmas is nearly here and barring any end of the year UPC ratifications we’re not expecting too much to happen on the unitary patent and Unified Patent Court until next year. Before Christmas arrives however here’s a quick update: (more…)

EU Commission: unitary patent concerns; IP insurance and unitary SPCs

IMG_8533-1The European Commission website provides something of a byzantine navigational challenge so IPcopy is extremely grateful to Martin Chatel for pointing us in the direction of the Commission staff working document “A Single Market Strategy for Europe – Analysis and Evidence” which discusses the unitary patent package. (more…)

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