The European Patent Office (EPO), the European Committee of Standardization (CEN) and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) have signed recently a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enhance the support they provide to industry and stakeholders in Europe and beyond in the field of standard-essential patents.
This is the first MoU between the organizations who will now work together to extend knowledge about the relationship between standardization and patents.
The purpose of this collaboration is to support inventors, innovators, researchers and industry on standard-essential patents (SEPs) in different areas of technology by promoting the dissemination of technical standards including relevant patented technologies. The agreement complements the established co-operation in this field between the EPO, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and the European Commission.
“This agreement will help us to provide inventors and innovating businesses with information about the use of standards and patents in their field of activity,” said EPO President António Campinos. “Co-operation with standardization organizations is essential for tackling the challenges arising from the relationship between standards and patents. It will help ensure that the patent system continues to support a competitive innovation environment for businesses by delivering greater transparency on standard essential patents, as well as high patent quality.”
CEN and CENELEC Director General Elena Santiago Cid added: “CEN and CENELEC actively support the European innovation community and aim to efficiently integrate it in the European standardization system. With this objective, in 2018 we presented our Innovation Plan, which addresses the need to offer fast-track processes to bring research results to the market. The ability to reach the ambitions set out in the Plan will be enhanced by the collaboration with EPO. Together, we can support the European economy to be more competitive in the global knowledge-based economy”.
In view of the growing use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT)-related technologies in the more traditional technical fields, the ICT standards, as well as the patents considered essential for their implementation, are becoming increasingly important in this context.
Source: www.epo.orgRead More
The European Patent Office (EPO) held its first major conference on patenting Blockchain on 4 December 2018. The one-day event in The Hague explored the implications of blockchain for patent applications as the technology, which started in the financial sector, is spreading to all technical fields of industrial application.
In his welcome address EPO President Antonio Campinos mentioned that patent applications for blockchain are rising fast and such patents are examined by the EPO in accordance with well-established criteria developed on the basis of case law related to Computer-Implemented Inventions (CII).
The first keynote Speakers (Marieke Flament and Claire Wells) covered the blockchain basics, setting out the main principles, key players and areas of use for this new technology, and the first panel discussed the future impact of this rapidly developing field and its links to other unfolding digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Koen Lievens, Director at the EPO, and Wang Xinyi, Examiner at the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) presented the offices´ approaches to dealing with blockchain patent applications, whereas Nobuyuki Taniguchi (Nakamura & Partners) presented the evolution of Blockchain-related patents in Japan.
An analysis of the emerging patent landscape has revealed a steep increase in patent applications since 2015, a trend similar to the one seen in the case of related technical fields such as AI and self-driving vehicles.
Most of the patent filings have taken place in China (40%), China (20%) and Europe (8%).
The top applicants worldwide are the following: IBM, Alibaba, Coinplug, Boe Technology, Mastercard and Bank of America.
The top applicants in Europe are the following: Visa, Mastercard, Siemens, Accenture, Nokia, Nchain and Sony.
The main technology fields (according to the CPC classification scheme) are the following: Payment architectures, schemes or protocols; Cryptographic mechanisms or cryptographic arrangements for secret or secure communication; Network architectures or network communication protocols for network security; Security arrangements for protecting computers; Finance, insurance, tax strategies; Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce and Digital computing or data processing equipment or methods.
Source: www.epo.orgRead More
The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has upheld its prior decision to grant the registration of trademark STEVE JOBS, in the name of two Neapolitan brothers, Vincenzo and Giacomo Barbato.
The trademark was not only for STEVE JOBS, but also for a stylization, and a very particular letter J, that likely reminds consumers of another company’s logotype:
The Neapolitan brothers noticed that Apple had neglected to register its founder’s name as a trademark and, unwilling to let this opportunity go by, registered the trademark as shown above before the EUIPO (Registration No. 011041861), in International Classes 9, 18, 25, 38 and 42.
After noticing this, Apple Inc. attacked this registration before the EUIPO, arguing that the letter J was a copy of Apple Inc.’s own apple device, with a very similar leaf, and a bite taken off it, as shown here:
After years of arguments, the EUIPO ruled in favor of the Barbato brothers, arguing that letter J is not edible, and consequently there is no relation between the bitten apple of the technological company and the “bitten” J of the Italian brothers.
Consequently, the registration was sustained, and there are now clothes being sold under the STEVE JOBS trademark. The trademark owners have also indicated that they would eventually be interested in selling electronic devices with this trademark and, with the Class 9 protection, this is very likely to happen.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to foresee how a company or market will develop and these situations cannot always be avoided, but it is important to note that comprehensive planning, and to proactively protect through trademark registration those terms important to a company.
Note: Trademark STEVE JOBS was also applied for before the USPTO (Serial No. 79141888), but rejected by said institution.
by Moeller IP Advisors
On February 5, 2018, the European Patent Office (EPO) and the National Institute of Industrial Property of Argentina (INPI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the introduction of the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) by INPI. The MoU was signed during a meeting held between EPO President Benoît Battistelli and Argentina’s Commerce Secretary Miguel Braun in Buenos Aires to discuss recent developments in patents and innovation and the cooperation between the two regions in this field. According to the MoU, INPI will start classifying its publications with the CPC by January 2019.
The CPC, which was launched by the EPO and the USPTO in January 2013, is now considered the new global standard for refined patent classification. It is already in use, or will soon be used, by 26 patent offices around the world. Argentina has joined other Latin American countries, including Mexico, Brazil and Chile, in the adoption of the CPC.
At the meeting, progress was discussed on other joint projects laid out in a MoU on bilateral co-operation signed by the EPO and INPI in May 2017. This agreement covers areas such as access to information, sharing data and tools, improved patent procedures, and training.
In addition to EPO and INPI cooperation on patent matters, the European Union is currently negotiating a free trade agreement with the four founding members of Mercosur – Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay -, where the adhesion of Argentina to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is being discussed.
As part of the cooperation, Battistelli wanted to meet representatives of the European chambers of commerce in Argentina to hear concerns and difficulties European companies face at INPI concerning patent matters. Jose Santacroce, head of patent technical advisors for Moeller IP, participated in the above-mentioned meeting representing the firm through the Austrian-Argentine Chamber of Commerce.
Santacroce outlined specific challenges, such as the huge backlog existing at the INPI as well as the lack of tools and resources to deal with it, and the current problems regarding the obtaining of pharmaceutical patents. He also requested Battistelli to lend all possible support, including general training for INPI examiners. In particular, Santacroce requested training for complex and rapidly evolving technical areas such as Computer-Implemented Inventions, Biotechnology and Nanotechnology, and all types of tools to facilitate online access to databases.
French and Italian perfume companies are aiming at smell trademarks to be included in the new European Resolution.
For that reason, they are trying to raise awareness regarding the existing legal gap for the protection of this kind of trademarks. Because there is no legislation applicable, it is quite easy to copy fragrancies at low costs.
In the EU, three requirements have to be met in order for a trademark to be considered as such: to be a sign; to be possible to graphically represent that sign and that it distinguishes products.
For smell trademarks to be protected, the new European Resolution will have to remove the second requirement (graphic representation) and replace it with the following “a sign that can be represented so the consumers and the authorities can identify a specific product”.
Source: http://www.wipo.intRead More