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.
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.
1. CJEU in C-395/16, Doceram vs. CeramTec, interprets the concept of technically required features of appearance excluded from protection under Community designs Regulation. For more information here.
2. Colour it mine: protecting colour trademarks. For more information here.
3. Euro-PCT Guide: PCT procedure at the EPO. For more information here.
Source: Intellectual Property Center at the UNWE. More information can be found here
The European Patent Office published valuable instructions how you can work with Chinese database for patents, without any knowledge of Chinese. The instructions cover:
- SIPO – Retrieving Chinese documents (PDF, 833 KB)
- PSS – Retrieving Chinese documents (English interface) (PDF, 1.6 MB)
- SIPO – Monitoring Chinese publications by IPC classes (PDF, 897 KB)
- English machine translation
- PSS – Retrieving a machine translation (English interface) (PDF, 1.5 MB)
- Legal status information
- SIPO – Legal status search in Chinese (PDF, 982 KB)
- SIPO – Retrieving information on fee payment in English (PDF, 1.5 MB)
- SIPO – Online file inspection in English (PDF, 1.7 MB)
- SIPO – Searching re-examination and invalidation decisions (PDF, 450 KB)
- SIPO – Retrieving online gazette issues (PDF, 656 KB)
- PSS – Retrieving citation information (English interface) (PDF, 1.17 MB)
- Searching trademarks and designs
- CTMO – Searching Chinese trademarks (PDF, 751 KB)
- SIPO – Searching Chinese designs using classification (PDF, 967 KB)
The European Patent Office has put forward a proposal to reduce the fees for registration of European patents. The new proposals will reduce both the PCT search fee and the examination fee by EUR 100 each. For applicants using the EPO as ISA for search and examination and entering the European phase, the PCT fee proposals would result in a considerable fee reduction: a decrease of EUR 656.
In addition, there are proposals for fees reduction for SME’s and universities.
More information here.
The European Patent Office announced its decision to elect António Campinos as President of EPO. His five-year term will start on 1 July 2018.
Mr. Campinos is currently Executive Director of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). He is also a former President of the Portuguese Institute of Industrial Property (INPI).
The new President will have to deal with complex issues such as the ongoing conflict between the EPO staff and the Office leaders and the uncertainty regarding the future of the Unified EU Patent Court in the light of Brexit.
More information here.