On November 6th 2018, the European Patent Office (EPO) in cooperation with the European Council for Automotive Research and Development (EUCAR) released the study “Patents and self-driving vehicles”. The key findings of said study are summarized below:
The patent applications on SDV have been divided into two main technology sectors:
Automated vehicle platform, which encompasses technologies that are embodied in the vehicle itself. It includes inventions that enable vehicles to make autonomous decisions (Perception, analysis and decisions), inventions in the automated parts of the vehicle (Vehicle handling), and inventions in the underlying hardware and software (Computing).
Smart environment, which comprises technologies that enable SDVs to interact with each other and with their surroundings. It includes inventions in vehicle connectivity and related communication infrastructure (Communication) and inventions in traffic management, vehicle identification, automated parking and interfaces between vehicles and the electricity grid (Smart logistics).
The EPO´s study mentions that over the past decade, the EPO has received around 18,000 patent applications relating to SDV technologies, almost 4.000 of them in 2017 alone.
Annual patent applications relating to SDVs increased by 330% compared with 2011, a growth rate that is more than 20 times faster …Read More
On 30 October 2018, the Brazilian National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) in order to reduce its current backlog published Rule 227/2018, regulating for the analysis of patents using the results of searches in other national or regional patent offices.
The Rule is applicable to patent applications which:
1. have not already been submitted to technical examination of the INPI;
2. have not applied to any other form of priority examination by the INPI;
3. have not received any pre-grant opposition;
4. have a counterpart application with prior art searches realized by national or regional patent offices in other countries.
Once the above conditions are fulfilled, the INPI will publish an opinion (under code 06.20) setting out prior art documents cited by foreign patent offices and inviting applicant to submit a new set of claims and/or arguments as to the patentability of the claimed invention. Thereafter, the applicant will have 60 days from the date of publication to answer such queries.
The new Rule is based on the findings of an existing pilot program introduced in January 2018, with the objective of evaluating the possible simplification and streamlining of technical procedures for examination …Read More
by Moeller IP Advisors
In the prestigious Bloomberg’s 2017 Innovation Index published last year, Mexico failed to rank among the first 50 top countries. Brazil and Argentina ranked respectively 46th and 49th.
The index is developed on the basis of benchmarks that include spending on research and development, manufacturing, the presence of hi-tech companies and of course, the number of patents filed in the country within the year. From a legal point of view, this last aspect is particularly worth analyzing.
Patents filed in Mexico and the role of Patent Prosecution Highways
In the period 2011-2015, 79019 patent applications were filed, according to data released by the IMPI, the Mexican Intellectual Property Institute. Only around 8% of all the patent applications came from Mexican applicants, a number that is particularly striking if compared with China, where 85% of the applications in the country are filed by Chinese applicants.
In practice, in Mexico, there was one patent application per 100,000 inhabitants per year, while in China there was an average of 50 applications per 100,000 inhabitants per year.
Patent applications in Mexico come especially from public educational and research centres like the UNAM – the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the …Read More
The European Patent Office (EPO) held on 30 May 2018 a conference on Patenting Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Koen Lievens, Director Operations at the EPO, presented as keynote speaker the topic “How does the EPO deal with the challenges of AI in patents”.
The key concepts are the following:
Computer-Implemented Inventions would also apply to the inventions relating to AI, therefore to examine AI inventions the EPO two-hurdle approach should be used.
Are AI and Machine Learning (ML) just mathematical methods?
According to Articles 52 (2) and (3) EPC, mathematical methods as such are considered non-inventions and therefore not patentable.
Algorithms used for the purpose of, among other things, classification, clustering, regression and dimensionality reduction would be mathematical method as such and therefore not patentable subject-matter.
Algorithms applied, among other things, to data of technical nature, parameters of technical nature and trainable based on training data would not be considered mathematical method as such and therefore would not be excluded from patentability according to Articles 52 (2) and (3) EPC.
To overcome the second hurdle the mathematical method (steps) should contribute to the technical character of the invention.
There are two dimensions to contribute …Read More