As 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…)
Branding 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…)
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.
From ground-breaking technology that could be straight off Star Trek, to applications that might transform our every-day consumer experience, via a few light-hearted detours: here are a dozen patents to illustrate the diversity of 3D printing applications…
On 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…)
Administering global industrial design portfolios just got a little bit easier: The EUIPO becomes a Depositing Office for the Digital Access Service for Industrial Designs from 11 July 2020.
I’ve tried really hard to come up with a title for this piece that does justice to its subject, but I’m not sure I’ve nailed it… maybe I need to admit that there’s just no way to make design portfolio administration and priority-claiming processes sound sexy. But I promise this is some truly excellent news for registered design filers. I felt tangible relief – and yes maybe even excitement* – when I stumbled upon this hidden snippet: From the 11 July 2020 the EUIPO will become a Depositing Office for WIPO’s Digital Access Service (DAS) for Industrial Designs, which relieves quite a significant administrative burden on big design filers that whose registered designs start their life at the EUIPO. An opportunity to put our collective feet up for a moment, and let DAS do some of the work for us…
Elton John was of the opinion that sorry seemed to be the hardest word. That may well be true in general life, but in the European Patent Convention, that hardest word is “technical”. It underpins everything, yet is never defined – apparently, you know it when you see it1. Much of the challenge it provides results from the need to engineer a definition of “technical” which circumvents the exclusions from patentability set out in Article 52(2) EPC. These exclusions are treated as relating to “non-technical” subject matter by the EPO – such subject matter is excluded from patentability but (as set out in Article 52(3) EPC) only to the extent to which a European patent application or European patent relates to such subject-matter or activities “as such” (two more of the harder words in the EPC).
As a result, many inventions as claimed relate to a mix of “technical” and “non-technical” subject matter. The central case in this area is T 0641/00 (Two identities/COMVIK), which indicates that not only can “non-technical” subject matter not contribute to inventive step unless it somehow contributes to technical character, it can even be used to establish the objective technical problem solved by the invention (whether or not it is found in the prior art). This can lead to a higher “step” in arguing for inventive step, and determination over whether specific features are technical can be a key battleground in patent prosecution before the EPO.
This is the context for the referral of G1/19 to the Enlarged Board of Appeal. This referral was made by the Technical Board of Appeal in T 0489/14, which is an appeal from the decision to refuse EP1546948 – the best place to find all the documents for this case is the European Patent Register entry for EP1546948, including a large number of amicus briefs. (more…)
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…)