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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

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

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

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

Claiming Antibodies in European Patent Applications

Immune
In the past year, we have all heard more about antibodies in the general news than anyone ever desired. When we are exposed to pathogens, antibodies form a vital part of our immune systems in protecting us from deadly diseases.Isolated from the body or synthetically produced, antibodies can have many uses and are particularly important as therapeut...
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Defining Amino Acid and Nucleic Acid Sequences in European Patent Applications

BioSeq
Welcome guidance on the interpretation of claims to amino acids and nucleic acids defined by their sequences is provided by updated Guidelines for Examination at the European Patent Office now in force. New section F-IV-4.24 sets out that both amino acid sequences and nucleic acid sequences can be defined by "percentage identity". The percenta...
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2798 Hits

European Patent Office pushes use of video conferences in Opposition Division oral proceedings

 As of January 2021, parties will no longer have free choice on whether a hearing (oral proceedings) during examination or opposition is in person or via video conferencing before the European Patent Office (EPO). Video conferences will be the default. 12 months ago, we would have had to fight for a hearing (oral proceedings) to be held with t...
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Plants Produced by Essentially Biological Processes are not Patentable in Europe

vegetables
You might think that an article dealing with broccoli, tomatoes and peppers ought to be on a recipe blog. However, these are the names of high profile cases in an area that, over recent years, has seen more change in European patent law than perhaps any other. It now seems that the European Patent Office wants closure. We reported here on the most ...
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3194 Hits