We have our first video post today on the subject of marking products with patent numbers. (Note that the video has subtitles.)
This is my first effort at a video post so please be kind!
Mark Richardson 23 January 2019
Prosecuting a patent application from filing to grant can be a long winded process lasting, in some cases, many years. An application needs to be searched and then published before being examined. Delays at the UK Intellectual Property Office in certain technology fields can mean that examination reports take years rather than months to issue and delays at the European Patent Office (EPO) have, in extreme cases, meant that applications have remained pending for even longer.
In many cases applicants may be happy to proceed at a slow pace because it allows an invention to be developed and marketing/commercialisation plans put in place. The cost of the patent process can also be spread out over time. There are however circumstances where a more speedy grant would be useful, for example where you think someone is using your invention and you want a granted patent to allow some kind of infringement action to be taken or where an investor asks for a granted patent before they release funds for the development of your company/invention.
Both the UKIPO and the EPO offer a range of acceleration procedures that can help get a granted patent more quickly. The various options for these two patent offices are discussed below. (more…)
Companies that have not yet considered how their products or services may fall within the definition of Research & Development (R&D) for tax purposes are likely to be missing out on significant tax savings through R&D tax relief.
R&D tax relief rewards companies that are seeking advancement in the state of knowledge in their sector. In the definition for tax purposes1, R&D does not necessarily mean the development of a new product. R&D can involve development of new or improved products, processes, services, devices or materials. Importantly, R&D is not limited to a particular industry. For example, R&D claims can be made in industries such as retail (e.g. improved processes), IT and telecommunications (e.g. software development), food and beverage (e.g. innovative recipes), engineering (e.g. new materials), manufacturing (e.g. automation) as well as the more well-known R&D industries such as pharmaceutical, biotechnology and energy. (more…)
On 14 November, Charlotte Wilding, Senior Associate at Keltie, attended and spoke at the Managing Intellectual Property’s IP Enforcement Forum 2018, which took place in the beautiful Le Méridien, Piccadilly.
The theme of the day concerned how best to deal with IP enforcement in view of the ever-expanding online world. Presentations included a range of topics relevant to IP and covered both the legal aspects of protection, as well as perspectives from marketing experts and academics. (more…)
The Patent Box, like R&D tax relief (see last week’s post here), is a very much underclaimed relief. In 2014-15 only 1,135 claims were made, although this resulted in claims valued at £651.9m. 94% of this value was claimed by large companies even though such companies only accounted for a quarter of the claims made.
So, what is Patent Box?
As R&D tax relief is enhanced to encourage scientific and technological innovation based on costs incurred, Patent Box is a tax relief for profits made from scientific and technological innovation, whether that be a product or a process. (more…)
Whilst Research & Development (R&D) tax relief is now an adult, given that is has been in the UK tax legislation for over 18 years, there are many companies still not claiming the relief they are entitled to or are only scratching the surface in their claims.
Most companies don’t claim because they are simply not aware. HMRC estimate that around 200,000 companies in the UK could be claiming R&D tax relief but only around 40,000 actually do.
As a reminder – to an SME a claim uplifts qualifying costs by an additional 130%, substantially reducing a tax liability or, in the case of losses, an increased loss that can be surrendered in return for 14.5% cashback from HMRC, whether or not that company has paid any tax in the past! A claim can be submitted up to two years after the end of the accounting period.
What are the three main misconceptions or barriers to make a claim? (more…)
WIPO’s Digital Access Service (DAS) allows priority documents to be exchanged electronically between participating IP Offices (there are currently 19 participating offices including the US, Japan, China, Korea [who make up 4 of the 5 IP5 offices], the UK and Australia).
The EPO will be joining the list of participating IP offices from 1 November 2018 (see Decision of the EPO President here and accompanying Notice from the EPO here). Where the WIPO DAS is used an Office of Second Filing (OSF) may electronically retrieve a copy of the priority document from the Office of First Filing (OFF) using a DAS access code.
Initially DAS at the EPO will be for EP patent applications and EP regional phase applications from the PCT. DAS will not initially be available for PCT applications filed at the EPO though this will be added in the future. (more…)
IPcopy 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.