EPO and EUIPO published a very interesting study called “High-growth firms
and intellectual property rights”.
This study tries to make a connection between the protection of intellectual property assets and the likelihood of a company’s growth.
According to the study:
SMEs that have filed at least one IPR are 21% more likely to experience a subsequent
growth period, and 10% more likely to become an HGF. The likelihood of experiencing a high growth period is 9% higher for SMEs that have filed at least one patent and 13% higher for those that have filed at least one trademark.
The likelihood of experiencing a high growth period is 17% higher for SMEs that have filed at least one European IPR. Filing a European IPR, therefore, provides a positive indicator of an SME’s readiness to scale up business to European level.
In high-tech industries, the likelihood of high growth is 110% higher for SMEs that have filed one or more European patents. Interestingly, the predictive power of European patents is particularly high in low-tech industries (+172%), where a patent filing can be a relatively rare event.
IP bundles involving trade marks systematically outperform other bundles and single IPR categories, thus suggesting that trademarks are the basic building block of effective IP bundles. This is likely due to the fact that a trademark registration is related to market entry and thus turnover growth.
The full text of the study can be found here.
The Chinese tech company Huawei will continue to sell its smartphones in Germany after reaching an agreement with the patent poll MPEG LA.
The dispute at hand concerns video coding technology used in computers and phones, for which there are patents included in the MPEG LA portfolio.
In 2018, the Court in Düsseldorf ruled in favor of MPEG LA ordering all Huawei’s smartphones which are sold in Germany to be recalled and destroyed.
To prevent such results, Huawei signed a license agreement with MPEG LA that will allow the company to use the above-mentioned patents as well as to continue their selling in Germany.
The USPTO published its new guidelines on the eligibility of subject matter in patent applications.
With these guidelines, the USPTO gives some important clarifications on the implementation of the first step of the US Supreme Court’s Alice/Mayo test. There are two main changed in that regard:
- First, in accordance with judicial precedent and in an effort to improve certainty and reliability, the revised guidance extracts and synthesizes key concepts identified by the courts as abstract ideas to explain that the abstract idea exception includes certain groupings of subject matter: mathematical concepts, certain methods of organizing human activity, and mental processes.
- Second, the revised guidance includes a two-prong inquiry for whether a claim is “directed to” a judicial exception. In the first prong, examiners will evaluate whether the claim recites a judicial exception and if so, proceed to the second prong. In the second prong, examiners evaluate whether the claim recites additional elements that integrate the identified judicial exception into a practical application. If a claim both recites a judicial exception and fails to integrate that exception into a practical application, then the claim is “directed to” a judicial exception. In such a case, further analysis pursuant to the second step of the Alice/Mayo test is required.
For more information here.
The European Patent Office launched the beta version of its refreshing database for patent searching ESPACENET. The new version is more modern, dynamic, intuitive and it is optimised to work on different devices including desktop PCs, tablets and smartphones.
The beta version is accessible here. For more information about it, you can watch the hereunder video presentation. EPO encourages sending feedback, which can be done from here.
According to the European Patent Office, we will face a new transport revolution soon considering patent filing trends. Statistics show that there is 330% growth of patent applications related to autonomous driving vehicles between 2011 and 2017. For comparasion, the growth for all other technologies for the same period is 16%.
Curious or not, the applicants of these patents are not only the automobile companies but different tech companies too. The biggest applicants in that regard are Samsung (624 patent filings), followed by Intel (590), Qualcomm (361), LG (348), and Bosch (343).
For more information here.
The USPTO announced its new Director, Ms Laura Peter, who has a serious background in the field of intellectual property working for different companies the last of which is the Silicon Valley tech company A10 Networks where she was General Advisor. Ms Peter will take the helm of one of the busiest Patent Offices in the world with more than 13 000 employees.
For more information here.
Darren Hau (Marks & Clerk) published an interesting article for Lexology which discusses the topic for patent protection of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
As it is well known, computer programs and mathematical methods are excluded from patent protection because it requires a technical solution of a technical problem.
The main question here is, however, when one software, including AI, meets these requirements, that is to say when it has a concrete technical effect.
The updated EPO “Guidelines for Examination” gives some tips in that regard.
When it comes to AI inventions, the guidelines provide the following as examples of technical applications:
- control of a specific technical system/process;
- encryption/decryption or signing electronic communications;
- audio/image/video enhancement or analysis;
- speech recognition, e.g. mapping a speech input to a text output;
The natural conclusion from an in-depth analysis of these examples is that AI is protectable by patents in a case that it claims are restricted to specific technical purposes or such technical implementations.
The full article can be found here.