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UK Changes Divisional Deadline Rules [Updated]

Lord Younger signed the SI on 8 March

Lord Younger signed the SI on 8 March

As mentioned on Monday by IPKat, the rules regarding time limits for filing divisional patent applications from UK applications are being changed.

Under the current system, if a notice of compliance under Section 18(4) Patents Act 1977 is received, the applicant would have two months within which to file any divisionals. The two month period is being maintain under the amended rule, however, there will be an additional requirement to meet. Namely, that the parent must not have received any objections in an examination report.

This means that if the parent was found to meet the requirements for grant after more than one examination, there would be no opportunity to file divisionals once the notice of compliance is received.


IP Hit or Miss? Code Monkey Save World

Cover art: Code Monkey Save the World. Reproduced with permission from Greg Pak (Artist: Takeshi Miyazawa; Colorist: Jessica Kholinne. www.codemonkeycomix.com)

Cover art: Code Monkey Save World Issue 2. Reproduced with permission from Greg Pak (Artist: Takeshi Miyazawa; Colourist: Jessica Kholinne. http://www.codemonkeycomix.com)

Warning: minor spoilers to follow

The Kickstarter-funded graphic novel series, Code Monkey Save World by Greg Pak, tells the story of the eponymous coding monkey, Charles, as he teams up with a lovelorn super-villain (somewhat reminiscent of Dr Horrible in Joss Whedon’s Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog), following the enslavement of Charles’s human co-workers (including his office crush) by Robo-Queen Laura.

The second instalment of the series published earlier this month and features the origin story of the super-villain, Skullcrusher. As they wait for the computer systems in Skullcrusher’s lair to reboot, Skullcrusher explains to Charles that he found his “true talents really revolve around patent law”.


Are these patents the key to the next revolution in 3D printing?

SLSIn recent years, 3D printing has entered the mainstream lexicon, partly due to increased media coverage and partly because 3D printers are becoming more affordable and accessible. In particular, the rise of desktop 3D printers aimed at the domestic market such as the MakerBot Replicator and 3D Systems Cube have been a boon for hobbyists and early adopters. These printers are sold ready to use out of the box for simplicity compared to early affordable solutions which were self-assemble kits like the MakerGear Mosaic or the open source RepRap Mendel.

Typically, low cost domestic 3D printers, including those mentioned above, use an additive manufacturing technique called Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) to create objects. FDM involves a heated nozzle extruding thermoplastic into successive layers to build up a desired object.

The McKinsey Global InstituteThe Economist and Quartz, along with many others, cite the expiration of certain patents related to FDM in 2009 as enabling the recent proliferation of cheaper FDM 3D printers. They go on to anticipate that the expiration of key patents related to another additive manufacturing technique, selective laser sintering, in 2014 may lead to another step change in the field of 3D printing.

But what are these key patents that everyone’s talking about, and will they really make such a big impact?

The Intellectual Property Bill – Unregistered Designs

Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament

Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament

The majority of the Intellectual Property Bill relates to changes to the protection of designs. Following the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth, the UK Intellectual Property Office carried out a work programme to determine potential improvements to the current design framework. This led to a consultation in July 2012 with proposals to amend the current system for both unregistered design rights and registered community designs. In turn, the proposals in the Bill have basis in the work carried out by the IPO following the Hargreaves Review.

In the third part of a series on the Intellectual Property Bill, IPCopy summarises the proposals affecting unregistered design rights. [This post looks at the IP Bill as originally published. We will revisit the IP Bill at a later date to look at amendments introduced in its passage through Parliament.]


IP Hit or Miss? Software Patents in Europe

code_invertedIn a recent article in the Guardian regarding President Obama’s plans to curb the perceived abuse of the patent system by non-practising entities (also known as patent trolls), the author points out that none of the recommendations involve a ban on software patent in the US, stating that:

“Nowhere in the administration’s recommendations is one that already applies in Europe: an outright ban on software patents…”

But is there such an “outright ban” on “software patents” (computer-implemented inventions) in Europe?


The Intellectual Property Bill – Patents

Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament

Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament

The Intellectual Property Bill is currently making its way through the Houses of Parliament. Announced as part of the Queen’s Speech earlier this month, the Intellectual Property Bill had its first reading in the House of Lords the following day.

The Bill proposes various amendments, particularly regarding designs and makes provisions for the UK to create its Unified Patent Court, in preparation for the ratification of the Unitary Patent Package.

In the first part of a series on the Intellectual Property Bill, IPCopy summarises the main proposals affecting patents. (more…)

Wearable Technology Patents

google glass

A patent application disclosing a slap bracelet supposedly relating to a rumoured Apple ‘iWatch’ did the rounds on tech blogs and webcomics when it was published earlier this year. Coincidentally, on the same day, another US patent was published for Google Glass. IPCopy takes a closer look at what can be gleaned from this pair of wearable technology patent applications.


IP Hit or Miss? Armageddon – Science Miss but IP Hit?

Image - courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Image – courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech.

One of our readers suggested we take a look at Armageddon. This 1998 action/adventure sci-fi starring Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck has already been established as a science fail (1,2,3) but how accurate are the IP references made in the movie?

For those readers not familiar with Armageddon, the film revolves around an impending asteroid impact on Earth and a plan to drill deep into the asteroid and detonate a large enough nuclear weapon to split the asteroid into two pieces and thus avoid the end of the world. Bruce Willis plays the character Harry Stamper, the best deep-sea oil driller in the world, who is initially brought in to be an advisor to NASA. (more…)

Superfast Patent Processing: UK IPO Consultation

UKIPOlogoThe UKIPO has opened consultation on a new accelerated prosecution service dubbed “superfast”. The intention appears to be to offer this premium service in addition to free acceleration services currently available, which can already bring the time taken to obtain a UK patent to less than a year.


EPO proposes changes to search rules [Updated – 11/11/13]

epologoThe European Patent Office is proposing to amend the rules regarding searches for Euro-PCT applications. The aim of the proposed changes is to make the Euro-PCT system fairer for  applicants of international applications who use the EPO as the International Searching Authority. A further aim is to bring Euro-PCT search practice into line with direct European practice.