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It’s mid-January. Exam stress is rising. About two months from now, more than 2,000 candidates from close to 40 different countries will take part in either the EQE pre-examination or one or more of the four EQE main exams that are organised by the European Patent Office (EPO). These exams, especially the four main exams, are not easy. Only 2 in 5 candidates manage to pass all papers in their first attempt. Passing these exams is only possible with proper preparation. Following some courses is highly recommended for all papers. Thoroughly studying the (case) law and practicing a large number of old exams is unavoidable. (more…)
IPcopy recently attended an EPO presentation from the EPO’s Bioinformatics team on the subject of computer implemented inventions (CII) in biotech and healthcare and how to go about patenting such inventions.
This author works in Keltie’s software team and so is familiar with CII related inventions. Bioinformatics inventions however can sit somewhere between the biotech and software disciplines and so this presentation provided a handy insight for attorneys from either field into the subject area. (more…)
In the first session, “Patenting Computer implemented inventions in Healthcare at the EPO”, Igor Dydenko provided the EPO view on patenting inventions in the Healthcare field which apparently is the top technical field with the most patent applications in the EPO (according to the EPO’s 2018 annual report).
Igor noted that the relevant provisions for healthcare related inventions were those relating to technicality (Art 52(2), (3) and 56 EPC) and medical methods (Art 53(c) EPC). A review of the two examination requirements (note the EPO moving away from the “hurdles” language*) of technicality and inventive step then followed which highlighted the Guidelines for Examination approach for mixed type inventions incorporating a mathematical method (see G-II, 3.3). In particular the discussion highlighted the requirement for inventive step to only be supported by those features of the claimed invention which provide a technical effect serving a technical purpose. (more…)
Last Tuesday the UK’s Supreme Court delivered their verdict in the “prorogation of Parliament” case and found that the advice provided to the Queen was unlawful with the effect that prorogation had never happened. Parliament was duly recalled on Wednesday where the Speaker directed that the item in the Journal of the House of Commons relating to Prorogation was to be expunged and replaced with a reference to the House being adjourned instead.
The Commons session last Wednesday went ahead with a series of Urgent Questions and the atmosphere in the chamber steadily deteriorated as things went on. Last week also marked the return to UK TV of the show The Good Place, and in honour of that show and its main character Eleanor Shellstrop, the session in Parliament last Wednesday could probably fairly be summed up as a forking shirtshow.
Lost a little in the noise generated by the Supreme Court decision and the subsequent recall of Parliament however was an announcement from Labour in Jeremy Corbyn’s conference speech (and associated policy paper) regarding medicines and the use of the patent system. (more…)
The unitary patent system is aiming to create a European patent registration and litigation system. To bring the whole system into being, 13 EU member states, including France, Germany and the UK, need to ratify the UPC agreement and currently 16 member states (including France, the UK but crucially not Germany) have done so.
For some time, the unitary patent project has been stalled because an ongoing legal challenge in Germany has prevented Germany’s ratification process from being completed. In addition to this, the fallout from the UK’s Brexit vote has also cast a sense of uncertainty over the planned system because the unitary patent system is only, in its current form, open to EU member states to join. The UK’s expected departure from the EU therefore casts some doubt on whether the system will even take place.
In the face of the above two challenges however the UPC Preparatory Committee has continued to make technical and operational preparations in anticipation of a positive result from the German Constitutional Court.
Recently however the German Federal Ministry of Justice made a statement to the German Parliament indicating that an examination of the UK’s exit from the EU on the proposed unitary patent system will need to take place before ratification can occur. (more…)
Following Boris Johnson becoming the Prime Minister of the UK last month, and given his desire to leave the EU by the 31 October 2019 deadline with or without a deal, we have highlighted the UK government’s plans for trade marks, designs and patents in the event of a “No Deal” Brexit in more detail.
It is noted that in the event of a “No Deal” Brexit, the UK will leave the EU without any transition period and the “switch-over” date for IP, referred to as “Exit Day” below, will be 31 October 2019 (unless there are further extensions) (more…)
Today on IPcopy we have a guest post from Wendy Lamson of Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougal LLP on the subject of national phase entry in Canada. This post has been reproduced with the permission of the author.
The new Patent Rules were published on 10 July 2019 in Canada Gazette, Part II. The amendments will bring the Canadian Patent Rules into conformity with the Patent Law Treaty and will come into effect on October 30, 2019.
Highlights of some of the more important changes are discussed below. Notably, certain deadlines will be shortened and the ability to reinstate an abandoned patent application or revive a lapsed patent will become more difficult in certain circumstances. (more…)
When entering the European regional phase from the PCT phase the choice of the international searching authority (EPO or non-EPO international searching authority) has an impact on the actions that are required shortly after regional phase entry and also an impact on the fees that are payable. This article provides a high level overview of the main points of difference. (more…)
This article is an updated version of a previous Brexit related article which takes into account the UK’s revised date for leaving the EU.
Following an extension agreed by EU leaders back in April, the UK is now expected to leave the European Union on 31 October 2019. The UK’s departure from the EU may have an effect on your Intellectual Property Rights. This article is designed to briefly set out those potential changes.
There is a key ‘switch-over’ date for IP, which is referred to here as “Exit Day”. The exact date of Exit Day will be different depending on the manner in which the UK leaves the EU.
In the event of a “No Deal” Brexit, where a Withdrawal Agreement has not been agreed by both sides, the UK will leave the EU without any transition period and Exit Day will be the end of the Article 50 period. Currently the end of the Article 50 period is 31 October 2019, though this date could potentially be extended again if there is still no agreement by that date.
If the Withdrawal Agreement is agreed by the EU and ratified by the UK, this provides for a transition period during which the UK will no longer be part of the EU, but will still be bound by EU rules. In this scenario ‘Exit Day’ is the end of this transition period (the end of December 2020 at least though potentially this date could also be extended).
References to “Exit Day” below should therefore be read as encompassing either the “No Deal” exit day or the exit date at the end of the transition period.
This article compares amendment of patent applications before the USPTO and the European Patent Office (EPO), focussing on the differences in law and practice between these jurisdictions. Adaptation of a PCT application for regional phase entry in each jurisdiction is also discussed. References are made to the EPO Guidelines, which is the main source for European Patent Office practice. Some guidance is also provided on differences between claim interpretation in Europe and the US. (more…)