European Patent Office

News & Analysis as of

EPO Stays Proceedings Over Patentability Of Plants And Animals

While the U.S. is still sorting out “natural products” jurisprudence under 35 USC § 101, the European Patent Office (EPO) is wrestling with the patentability of plants and animals, and has announced an immediate stay on all...more

Expediting Patent Prosecution in South America

Although South America includes many large and commercially significant markets for U.S. and European businesses, patent prosecution is notoriously slow in most South American countries. Brazil, for example, averages...more

Unitary Patent Inches Closer to Adoption with UK’s Ratification Announcement

The Intellectual Property Office of the United Kingdom (UK)—together with the Minister of State for Energy and Intellectual Property and Prime Minister May—issued a press release on Nov. 28 confirming that the country will...more

News from Abroad: Antibodies in the European Patent Office

The European Patent Office (EPO) continues to grant many patents relating to antibodies, and in doing so applies the same patentability criteria as to other inventions. However, some commentators have suggested that...more

Brexit’s Effect on the Unitary Patent System and Court

The UK government intends to ratify the Unitary Patent System and the Unified Patent Court prior to Brexit. The Brexit referendum passed earlier this year in which the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union...more

EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal Finds the Cure For Poisonous Divisionals

At the end of 2012, a European Patent Office (EPO) Board of Appeal decision sent shockwaves through Europe; it concluded that a European divisional patent publication could be novelty destroying to the European parent patent...more

Brexit and Supplemental Protection Certificates: Hope for the Best but Plan for the Worst

On June 23, 2016, the United Kingdom voted through a national referendum to exit the European Union after more than 40 years of membership. One of the key arguments in favor of the so-called “Brexit” was to return full...more

EPO Begins Enforcing Dual-Party Execution of Assignments

We have previously noted that assignments executed solely by the assignor (e.g., an inventor when assigning rights to their employer) are technically deficient in Europe due to a difference between U.S. and European law. In...more

Getting the Most from Biotech Patents in Europe Without Breaking the Bank: Selecting the Right Countries for Validation

Once a European patent application has been granted, all patentees must then choose to validate the granted application in one or more European countries. Such a decision may have long-term business and legal consequences. ...more

Brexit—The End of the Unitary Patent System as we Know it?

On June 23, 2016, British citizens voted in a referendum in favor of exiting the European Union. Termed “Brexit,” the United Kingdom’s departure effected global markets and caused the British pound to fall to its lowest level...more

What U.S. companies need to know about their IP rights post-Brexit

On June 23, 2016, the British public voted in a referendum in favour of the U.K. withdrawing from the EU. For now, the U.K. is still very much part of the Union: the U.K. Government has not yet given formal notice of its...more

Stricter Rules for Patent Assignments in Europe

Many patent offices, including the USPTO, will record a transfer of rights on the basis of a document that has been signed only by the assignor. The European Patent Office (EPO) has traditionally followed the same practice,...more

Continental patents a la carte or prix fixe? Biotechnology considerations for the unitary patent in Europe

Unitary patents in Europe - The European unitary patent and Unitary Patent Court (UPC) are slated to go into effect in early 2017. These monumental changes will have a significant impact on the ways patent rights are...more

The Brexit and Patent Law: What You Need to Know

Now that some time has passed since the Brexit vote, some of the ways in which the vote is likely to impact British patent law are becoming clearer. Here is a quick summary of some of the primary concerns....more

Brexit: The UK Clarifies Its Position On Intellectual Property

The process of Brexit will take time, and the implications for our clients’ business will unfold over time. Our MoFo Brexit Task Force is coordinating across all our offices and working with clients on your key concerns and...more

Brexit May Stall Implementation of EU’s New Unitary Patent and Patent Court Systems

New unified patent grant and patent court systems, which were to have taken effect in early 2017, will likely be stalled because of Britain’s June vote to leave the EU, commentators and member nations fear. BACKGROUND...more

Packing Your Patent Application for Europe: Avoiding Problems Under European Patent Law

Planning an extended European vacation for your patent application? A lengthy stay in Munich with possible outings to The Hague, Berlin, Vienna, or Brussels? While your patent application won’t be strolling through the...more

Brexit Prompts IP Uncertainty

It's difficult to turn on the news and not hear something about the historic vote by Britain to leave the European Union. While the Brexit vote already has had an immediate effect on global economic markets, the legal effects...more

Is Brexit an IP Exit?

Voters in the U.K. recently passed a referendum paving the way for the U.K. to leave the European Union (EU). In response, British Prime Minister David Cameron resigned on Wednesday, July 13, 2016, with Theresa May as his...more

CJEU Confirms EU Competition Law Does Not Prevent Royalties for Revoked Patent Licences

On 7 July 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that, provided that a licensee is free to terminate a licence agreement on reasonable notice, it can be obliged to pay royalties even after the patent...more

EU Court Rules That Royalties for Unpatented Technology Are Not Necessarily Anticompetitive

On 7 July 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) handed down a judgment on whether Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) must be interpreted as precluding effect being...more

Brexit: European Patent Applications, Unitary Patents and the Unified Patent Court System

The process of Brexit will take many years, and the implications for our clients’ business will unfold over time. Our MoFo Brexit Task Force is coordinating Brexit-related legal analysis across all of our offices, and...more

The Effects of Brexit on the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court

Voters in the United Kingdom have voted to leave the European Union (EU). The exit of the UK from the EU (the "Brexit") could result in a delay in the implementation of the Unitary Patent (UP) and the Unified Patent Court...more

Brexit: What You Need To Know - Intellectual Property

Until the UK formally leaves the EU following the triggering of Article 50, there will be no immediate change to the intellectual property (IP) regime currently governing the UK. Although the full extent of the impact on...more

The Uncertain Future of the Proposed European Unitary Patent after “Brexit” Vote

The future of the proposed European Unified Patent Court and European Unitary Patent have been jeopardized by the Brexit vote because ratification of the proposal by the United Kingdom is expressly required before the...more

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