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Artificial intelligence and patents: Government response to call for views

markus-spiske-iar-afB0QQw-unsplashArtificial Intelligence (AI) continues to play an increasing role in technological development. There are many questions relating to intellectual property (IP) that arise from AI-related innovation. The UK government has indicated that it wants the UK to be at the forefront of the AI revolution, and wants to create the best environment to allow AI innovation to thrive.

Last year, the UK government published a call for views on various topics related to AI and IP. The government has now published its response, and below we summarise the response on the patent-related topics included in the call for views. (more…)

e-EQE – “room for improvement”

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Photo by Varun Gaba on Unsplash

So, the EQEs are over for another year. We wrote about the technical issues experienced in Paper D last week. This post aims to look over the examination as a whole and highlight areas where there’s room to improve.

The points below will, IPcopy understands, chime with many candidates, though perhaps not the EPO Press Release team who put out this glowing tribute to “going digital”. If anyone is looking for a Reality Distortion Field Generator that goes up to 11 then at least we know where there’s one we might be able to borrow….

Nearly 4000 candidates and 24 hours of exams over 5 days is a large project to deliver and the EPO should be congratulated in getting the exams off the ground this year. IPcopy wonders however if a perception that the online version might lead to cheating in turn resulted in some of the sub-optimal outcomes noted below. (more…)

e-EQE – Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

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Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Technology has been a force for good/amazing things – getting man to the Moon, speedy vaccine development, the Internet1 – but has had some missteps along the way – Zoom cat filters, the Internet2 and now the EQE online exam platform….

As an outside observer, the WISEflow system/LockDown browser seemed a somewhat over-engineered and complicated solution to try and implement for the exams this year. Any system that has had people seriously contemplating removing keys from their keyboards to avoid getting kicked out of the system for using a banned keyboard shortcut combination is, in this blog’s view, not quite ready for Primetime. (more…)

A difference of dosage – the European approach to patenting new dosage regimes

Few will have missed recent reports giving interim data on the efficacy of recently developed vaccines aiming to prevent SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind the Covid-19 pandemic.

At time of writing, the University of Oxford, in collaboration with AstraZeneca plc, have announced data from Phase III trials showing that their candidate vaccine can indeed effectively prevent the disease, including an observed reduction in asymptomatic infections.

There are many reasons to be excited about these findings. The speed of development and testing is unprecedented. A large number of doses are already manufactured, with many more on their way. Then there is the fact that the temperature stability and low cost of this particular vaccine (in comparison to others under development) could mean that it can be rolled out to the developing world more effectively, and so possibly mark the beginning of the end for the devastating pandemic worldwide.

Of course, just as importantly, it provides an opportunity to consider the patentability of medical inventions relating to different dosage regimes at the European Patent Office (EPO). (more…)

Changes to UK Address for Service Rules

gemma-evans-iakikrekrzy-unsplashThe UK Government has announced that from 1 January 2021, the UKIPO’s rules on address for service will change. The change removes the ability to use an address for service in the European Economic Area (EEA) for new UK matters and will mean that only a UK, Gibraltar or Channel Islands address will be accepted on new applications, new oppositions, and other proceedings before the UKIPO. The Isle of Man remains a valid address for service. (more…)

Pandemics, Tsunamis and Space Travel – The Surprising Catalysts of Innovation

med-badr-chemmaoui-ZSPBhokqDMc-unsplashAs a trainee patent attorney, I have been curious about the inventions that may arise as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. There have already been advances in healthcare directly related to the medical emergency, such as improved ventilators and face masks, and there will hopefully be a novel vaccine to end the calamity. However, with the majority of the population having spent the last few months stuck at home under UK lockdown, with little capacity to socialise and an uncertain future ahead, it would come as no surprise if some people have used the time to innovate.

Of course, the current pandemic is certainly not the first time that inventions have emerged from significant events in history. (more…)

The Importance of Branding in Precision Medicine

christine-sandu-RGvxmouRioE-unsplashBranding has a very important role to play in any industry. However, it is crucial in the field of precision medicine, which is by its very nature, personal. For this reason brand names in the precision medicine field should resonate with people (think ‘hearts and minds’).

A brand name that speaks positively to the public will help you to earn consumer loyalty and trust in what is an extremely fast growing and competitive industry.

It is also particularly important that trade marks in the precision medicine field are selected with care owing to the potential implications of confusion arising if one brand were to be mistaken for another.

This article discusses some of the key recommendations when it comes to branding and trade marks with a particular focus on the field of precision medicine. (more…)

Emoji and IP – an article for World Emoji Day 🎉🐱‍🚀😃🙌

As the old saying goes, a few well-chosen emojis paint a thousand words. To celebrate World Emoji Day, and the joy of all things emoji, we’ve compiled a few thoughts on the topic.

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Revised Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal

EPO4On 1 January 2020 the new Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal (“RPBA”) came into force, affecting substantially all(1) appeals pending on, or filed after 1 January 2020. The revised rules have three main aims: i) to increase the efficiency of the appeals procedure; ii) to improve predictability for parties; and iii) to harmonise the approach of the Boards (particularly in regard to the admissibility of amendments to a party’s case). (more…)

The Internet of Things and Patent Pools

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This article provides an overview of the topics discussed in the recent webinar hosted by BrightTALK titled ‘The Essential Value: IoT Standard Essential Patents and the Case for Patent Pools’, and which is available here.

The so-called ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) refers to the use of wireless or cellular technology to connect different devices that can transmit and receive data to one another. Whereas previously the use of cellular technology was limited to relatively few types of devices – most notably, mobile telephones – more and more consumer and enterprise devices and products are now being equipped with such technology, making possible wireless communication between various devices in different technological fields.

Wireless communication is typically performed according to a number of different industry defined and approved technical standards. Standards are often developed by committees formed of experts from various companies in the relevant industry. Each expert, or group of experts, will bring ideas for new practices or technologies – possibly reflecting the innovation occurring within their company – that they believe should be adopted into a new standard. The committee will decide which of these practices or technologies are written into the new standard.

In many cases, practices or technology defined in a new standard will have pending or granted patent protection, owned by the company whose experts brought the technology to the committee, for instance. In such cases, this means that operating within the scope of such patents is unavoidable to implement the standard. Patents satisfying this condition are therefore known as ‘Standard-Essential Patents’ (SEPs). (more…)