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Computer-implemented inventions, cloud computing and the EPO Guidelines for Examination

EPO4IPcopy had the pleasure of attending the EPO ICT seminar at the end of September where recent developments at the EPO in relation to computer-implemented inventions (CII) were discussed. The seminar was held the week before the latest version of the EPO Guidelines for Examination (November 2018 edition) was published which meant we were teased a few times with what was about to be released.

We were however told that the 2018 update to the Guidelines contains some significant CII related changes*, in particular more examples that show what is regarded as technical and what is regarded as non-technical in areas such as business methods, computer programs, mathematical methods and data retrieval.

Interestingly, it was mentioned that the CII portions of the 2019 and 2020 versions of the Guidelines will probably only contain minor clarification amendments rather than the more significant changes that have been seen in the last few years. The CII Guidelines Working Group has had an ongoing project running since 2014 and the first batch of CII changes came out in the 2015 Guidelines (Problem-solution approach for mixed inventions/search for computer-implemented inventions), the second batch in 2016 (Claim forms for CIIs, examples for PSA for mixed inventions) and the third batch in 2017 (Presentation of invention and UIs). The 2018 Guidelines represent the fourth batch of changes and it was noted that we will likely only see clarification amendments for the next couple of years.

Now that the November 2018 Guidelines have been published IPcopy has taken a look at the CII sections and highlights the following changes : (more…)

Brexit: Patent, trade mark, design and GI “No Deal” notices published by UK Gov

brexit-1481028_1920It’s probably fair to say that the Prime Minister’s meeting in Salzburg last week did not go as well as the government would have hoped. Talk has now turned to the negotiations being at an impasse and the possibility of a No-Deal Brexit becoming reality seem to have increased.

Given that we’re now all staring out over the cliff edge again it seems a fitting time to take a quick look at the UK Government’s advice notices, that were published yesterday, in respect of patents, trade marks, designs and geographical indications in the event of a No-Deal Brexit. (more…)

UKIPO Patent Examination Time Calculator

file7791271797864Nestled towards the bottom of the CIPA August 2018 newsletter is news of a new patent examination calculator that has been introduced by the UKIPO on its patent document and information service (IPSUM).

For cases where examination has been requested the online file will now indicate the latest date by which the IPO expects to issue its first exam report. Currently, IPSUM entries will specify one of three things: (i) that exam is expected to be complete by 30 June 2019; (ii) that exam is expected by 31 March 2021; (iii) that it’s unlikely exam will be completed before 31 March 2021. More precise information may become available as the IPO works through its backlog of cases. (more…)

Say “good-bye” to Canada’s generous 42 month late national phase entry deadline

Flag_of_CanadaToday 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. 

Proposed rules in Canada make PCT late entry more difficult

Currently, the deadline for national phase entry in Canada can be extended to 42 months from the priority date.  A patent applicant simply needs to pay a late fee of $200.00 Cdn, together with the request for national phase entry.1  No reasons for failure to meet the 30 month deadline are required.  However, this will soon change if proposed amendments to the Canadian Patent Rules are implemented that bring Canada into conformity with the Patent Law Treaty. (more…)

CIPA webinar – A practical perspective of the UP/UPC (from an in-house position)

IMG_8533-1The CIPA UP/UPC seminar series continued recently with “A practical perspective of the UP/UPC (from an in house perspective)” from Maja Schmitt, Head of Global Administration at DSM.

Maja presented a slightly different perspective on the unitary patent system and rather than focussing on the unitary patent/unified patent court rules or the intricacies of using the UPC’s case management system, Maja looked at the challenges of mobilising an in-house team into being ready for a system that could move from a state of “nearly ready” to “live” within the space of 6-8 months. (more…)

UK Government White Paper – Brexit and Intellectual Property (IP)

Brexit, the UK Government’s real time demonstration of how not to conduct an international negotiation, rumbles on. The last two weeks have seen a “collective” stance on a Brexit plan thrashed out at Chequers, the subsequent resignations of David Davis and Boris Johnson who it seems weren’t quite ready to be part of May’s Collective, the visit of the US President who apparently suggested that the UK should sue the EU and, perhaps most tellingly of all, a sign on a broken toilet door in the Commons which not unreasonably asked “If we can’t fix a toilet in six weeks, what are our chances of negotiating Brexit in eight months? Just asking.” (I’m not joking. Picture at the bottom of this post!)

As well as all of the above and in amongst the usual chaos of knife edge votes in the Commons and a former Cabinet Minister asking for a second Referendum (surely if that happens we need best of three?), the UK Government published its White Paper on “The Future Relationship Between the United Kingdom and the European Union”. The White Paper mentions a little bit about IP so let’s dive in. (more…)

Tennis patents

wimbledon-2983451_1280While the sporting focus at the moment is in Russia, where England will be attempting on Wednesday to make a World Cup Final for only the second time in history, there is of course another major sporting event running at SW19, the Wimbledon Tennis Championship.

Although the game of tennis is fairly simple, requiring just a court, some racquets and tennis balls, it is, like every other sport, subject to huge amounts of innovation which can be seen in the patent record that stretches back well over a hundred years. (more…)

It’s a funny old game – World Cup & IP

football-3373557_1920

pixabay/gellinger

Once every 4 years the FIFA Football World Cup (or soccer for our American readers) comes around and incites an unnatural sense of optimism in England supporters around the world that this could be our year. While this is always an event that somewhat brings the people of the country together, some may say the repetitive upsurge of optimism before each World Cup is misplaced. On the eve of the World Cup which marks the 13th tournament and 52 years since the first (and only) World Cup victory of the three lions, it is worth noting that England’s national team have won just 6 matches in the knockout stages of any major international tournament since the 1966 World Cup Victory.

Optimism or pessimism aside, there is always the possibility of a World Cup upset, football is a simple game where anything can happen, as Sepp Herberger (Coach of the 1954 World Cup winning West Germany team) famously once said; “The ball is round, and the game lasts 90 minutes”. (more…)

CIPA Seminar: Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court for Attorneys

IMG_8533-0The CIPA seminar series relating to the unitary patent and Unified Patent Court resumed last week with the session “Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court for Attorneys”. This session, which was presented by Julia Gwilt, took a look at the ways in which the unitary patent system may impact the way that European Patent Attorneys will need to work.

The session provided a quick overview of the unitary patent system and then took a closer look at the procedure before the EPO (when requesting unitary effect) and the procedure before the Unified Patent Court (when requesting or withdrawing an opt-out).

We won’t cover the basics of the unitary patent system again here and readers wanting a quick recap of the system are invited to check out IPcopy’s report on the first CIPA seminar on this subject which can be found here. (more…)

UPC – still a long way to go…

brexit-1481028_1920On 26 April 2018, World IP Day, the UK surprised more than a few people by ratifying the UPC Agreement and in the process taking the total number of countries who have ratified the agreement to 16. The UK press release that accompanied this announcement stated “Our ratification brings the international court one step closer to reality”.

Since the ratification process only requires 13 member states, including France, Germany and the UK, to ratify then it might appear to some that German ratification is the only remaining obstacle to the unitary patent system going live.

However, IPcopy suggests that it is still too soon to be able to say if and when the system will come into force. (more…)