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News and commentary on IP issues

European Patent Office Launches New Fee Reduction Scheme to Support Micro-Entities

money
In good news for individuals and smaller businesses with little experience of the European patent system, the European Patent Office will shortly be introducing additional discounts on some of its fees for certain applicants. However, there are strict and complex requirements on eligibility and caution should be used in deciding whether or not...
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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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1240 Hits

Validation of European Patents in Georgia

Georgia
On 15 January 2024, the Republic of Georgia will become the 45th country in which patent protection may be obtained via a European patent. The "validation" agreement between Georgia and the European Patent Organisation was signed on 31 October 2019, and will come into force this month. The European Patent Organisation currently has 39 Member States...
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1012 Hits

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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UK Supreme Court Judgement on DABUS as an inventor

The-Supreme-Court-Westminster-London
Today, 20th December 2023, the UK Supreme Court has handed down its judgment in this case, dismissing Dr Thaler's appeal. On the Issue of Patentability The UK Supreme Court has held that: "…DABUS, a machine with no legal personality, is not and has never been an inventor within the meaning of the 1977 Act. This is more than a formal objection.It go...
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1290 Hits

Right to priority in European Patent Applications - EPO decides there is a rebuttable presumption of validity

PriorityRight
The Enlarged Board of Appeal at the European Patent Office (EPO) has now issued its written decision in consolidated cases G1/22 and G2/22. The Enlarged Board of Appeal concludes that the EPO is competent to assess priority entitlement and that there is a rebuttable presumption that an applicant claiming priority in accordance with the formal requi...
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948 Hits

Goodbye to the "Ten Day Rule" at the EPO

TenDays
The EPO's idiosyncratic "ten day rule" relevant to calculating notified deadlines is being abolished in November. Many a European patent attorney has been thankful for the EPO's ten day rule after receipt of very late instructions to proceed with filing a response. This peculiarity of EPO practice has its origin in the days of postal ...
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915 Hits

Plausibility at the EPO - Enlarged Board of Appeal decision G2/21

HummingbirdHawkMoth
The long-awaited Enlarged Board of Appeal decision G2/21 has finally been issued. It confirms that evidence submitted in support of inventive step cannot be disregarded solely on the ground that such evidence had not been public before the filing date and was only filed after that date. The background to this Decision and the referral to the E...
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1464 Hits

Practical Tips for Patenting Antibodies in Europe

Antibody
The patenting of proteins is well established in Europe as long as they meet the requirements of novelty and inventive step.Antibodies are a specific type of protein, and to obtain useful patent protection for these, there are specific requirements to take into consideration.We have previously written about the European Patent Office's Guidelines f...
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1811 Hits

Developing Drugs for Developing World Diseases: The Role of Patents

Mosquito
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the issue of patents for medicines (in particular vaccines in the case of Covid) to the fore.From the debate surrounding enhancing distribution of Covid vaccines in the developing world by implementing a patent waiver, it is clear that the oft-heard argument that intellectual property to protect such vital products...
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1831 Hits

The Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent are coming

UPC
The long-awaited Unified Patent Court opens its doors on 1 June 2023 now that Germany has ratified the UPC Agreement. Alongside this, patents granted at the European Patent Office will be able to be registered for a single Unitary right covering certain EU member states (in addition to other states being individually registered separately in the co...
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1487 Hits

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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2570 Hits

EPO Board of Appeal Decision J0008/20 on AI Inventor DABUS - Commentary by Robert Jehan

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On 6 July 2022 the European Patent Office's Legal Board of Appeal published its reasoned decision J0008/20 explaining why it refused Dr Thaler's appeal at the end of the oral proceedings held on 21 December 2021. The decision establishes very important principles in law in relation to the patentability of inventions created by AI systems, that...
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3102 Hits

Williams Powell wins MIP award of European Cross-Border Patent Litigation Team

Managing-IP-Award
We are delighted to announce that Williams Powell was presented with the special award of European Cross-Border Patent Litigation Team of the Year for the Stephen Thaler v Comptroller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (DABUS) case at the prestigious Managing IP Awards on 15 June 2022. Williams Powell was recognised for the work of Robert ...
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2116 Hits

Sequence Listings Looking Towards the "Big Bang"

BigBang
The beginning of July sees a shake up in how sequence listings are to be presented in patent applications around the world. After almost 25 years, WIPO has updated its standard from ST.25 to ST.26, and relevant patent applications at the International Bureau and in all WIPO contracting states (including both the EPO and the UK IPO) will need to inc...
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1780 Hits

UK Patent Attorneys able to represent clients before the European Unified Patent Court

Representation
It has been confirmed that European patent attorneys having a relevant UK qualification will be able to represent clients directly before the Unified Patent Court. All of Williams Powell's patent attorneys have the relevant qualifications and will therefore be entered on the list of representatives. As previously reported, the new UPC system i...
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1871 Hits

European Unitary Patent in 2022?

Europe
As the European Patent Office announces transitional provisions ready for entry into force of the UPC Agreement, it is starting to look like we may have the first European Unitary Patent within the next year or so. While there will of course be competition to see who manages to get the first Unitary Patent, there are also serious strategi...
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2501 Hits

Plausibility - EPO stays proceedings in view of Enlarged Board Referral

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The European Patent Office has announced a stay of all examination/opposition proceedings involving applications/patents in which the assessment of inventive step is exclusively based on evidence that was not publicly available before the filing date, and in which the decision depends entirely on the outcome of Referral G2/21 (Plausibility), u...
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2875 Hits

A Unified Patent Court for Europe - Coming Soon?

UPC
Europe may soon have its Unified Patent Court and Williams Powell is ready to assist you. With attorneys qualified for the European Patent Litigation Certificate (which gives UPC rights of representation) and as a Patent Attorney Advocate & Litigator (which gives rights of representation in the UK Courts) we are well-placed not only to obtain I...
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Patent Sufficiency reconsidered by UK Court of Appeal

Sufficiency
This Court of Appeal Decision concerned two families of patents held by FibroGen:Family A and Family B relating to H1F-PH inhibitors for the treatment of (respectively) CKD anaemia (anaemia associated with chronic kidney disease) and ACD (anaemia of chronic disease).Family A was published before the relevant priority date of Family B, and so i...
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2122 Hits