European Patent Office Fees increase from 1 April 2024

Fee Increase
The European Patent Office has announced increases to a number of its fees. The increases become effective on any payment made from 1 April 2024 onward. Many, such as the increases to the search, examination and grant fees are modest. However, the renewal fees payable in years 3-5 of a European patent application will increase&n...
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UK Patentability for Artificial Intelligence

AI
The UK High Court has issued an important ruling in Emotional Perception AI Ltd v Comptroller-General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks, overruling the UK IPO and deciding that trained artificial neural networks (ANNs) do not fall under the "program for a computer" exclusion of section 1(2)(c) of the Patents Act 1977. The UK I...
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DABUS at the UK's Supreme Court - inventorship of AI created inventions to be decided

Supreme Court of United Kingdom
On 2 March 2023, Robert Jehan and Dr Ryan Abbott will appear before the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom to argue that the Patents Act 1977 can permit the granting of patents for the DABUS patent applications. The appellant, Dr Thaler, created an Artificial Intelligence (AI) machine known as DABUS that in turn, in the absence of a traditional hu...
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UK IP rights - address for service changes

As of 1 January 2021, a UK, Gibraltar or Channel Islands address for service will be required for any new UK IP rights. This change has received parliamentary approval and is implemented in a UK IPO notice (TPN 2/2020) dated 21 December 2020. Action should be taken and we would be very happy to assist.  If your IP rights are&nbs...
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Breaking News - DABUS granted Right to Appeal UK Judgement

We are delighted that the UK Court of Appeal has today granted Dr Thaler the right to appeal the DABUS decision, which involves the important issue of patentability of inventions created by AI systems. Williams Powell is handling the DABUS patent applications as well as the UK and EPO appeals. The cases had been rejected by the UK High Court. The o...
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UK Withdraws from Unified Patent Court system - but likely with less impact than you would expect

On 20 July 2020, the UK Government announced its official withdrawal from the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement.  This is a disappointment but not unexpected.   Does this mark an end to over 40 years of efforts to produce a harmonised IP litigation process in Europe?  Of course not.  The UPC has, in recent year...
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2577 Hits

European Patent Office Suspends Late Payment Fees on Renewals

The European patent office has announced here that until 31 August 2020, no surcharge is payable for late paid renewal fees.  This provision applies to EPO renewal fees having a deadline (without extension) between 15 March 2020 and 30 August 2020.  Cases falling into this provision, will be deemed validly paid if the renew...
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2433 Hits

Clarification on patentability of plants and animals at European Patent Office?

The European Patent Office's Enlarged Board of Appeal, decided that "dynamic interpretation" on legal issues is possible and has issued a ruling that reverses its previous position and significantly changes the patentability of plants, plant materials and animals at the European Patent Office. The Enlarged Board of Appeal, ...
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15463 Hits

COVID-19 Contingency Plans

Dear Clients, Colleagues and Associates. We wish you the very best over this period and that you stay healthy and safe.Williams Powell is running as a virtual office with full and uninterrupted access to all our office systems. We are also very fortunate in being able to have one or more members of staff visit the office as needed.There i...
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European Patent Office Fee Increases

The European Patent Office (EPO) has announced its biennial fee increases.  These take effect from 1 April 2020. Details can be found here. As in the past, the majority of the increases are explained to be inflationary with an average increase of 4-5%. An notable exception is the appeal fee, which will be increasi...
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UK Ratifies Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement

The United Kingdom's Intellectual Property Minister Sam Gyimah announced on World IP day, 26 April 2018, the ratification by the UK of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement. The UPC agreement also implements the Unitary Patent, a single EU Patent that will be available to applicants via the European Patent Office. The UPC and Unified Patent offer many advantages to patent holders including reduction in translation and renewal costs and simplified and streamlined litigation.

Alexander Ramsay of Sweden, who chairs the UPC Preparatory Committee, is reported in the Financial Times to have said:

Some of the wording of the agreement will have to be amended after the UK leaves the EU but I would very much like Britain to participate in the UPC in the long term. The whole of Europe will benefit from the system having the broadest possible geographical coverage.

The UK is the 16th country to ratify the UPC Agreement, the others being Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Sweden.   As the UK, France, Germany and 10 other countries must have ratified the Agreement for it to enter into force, only Germany’s ratification is now required.  The Agreement will enter into force on the first day of the fourth month after Germany deposits its instrument of ratification.

Germany’s completion of the procedure is currently on hold due to a constitutional complaint that is expected to be heard by its courts later in 2018.  Other countries, such as Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia, are close to completing the procedure.  If the German courts dismiss the complaint by the summer, it is likely the UPC will open in early 2019.

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