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The European Patent Office and the patent granting procedure. Heli Pihlajamaa European Patent Office Directorate Patent Law (5.2.1). 10.12.2009. European Patent Office - Mission. As the patent office for Europe, we support innovation, competitiveness and economic growth across Europe

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The european patent office and the patent granting procedure l.jpg

The European Patent Office and the patent granting procedure

Heli Pihlajamaa

European Patent Office

Directorate Patent Law (5.2.1)

10.12.2009


European patent office mission l.jpg
European Patent Office - Mission

As the patent office for Europe,

we support innovation, competitiveness

and economic growth across Europe

through a commitment to high quality

and efficient services delivered under

the European Patent Convention.

The European Patent Office


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The European Patent Convention

  • Establishes the European Patent Organisation

  • Provides a system of law for the granting of European patents via a centralised procedure - one language, one procedure

  • European patents have the effect and are subject to the same conditions as a national patent

  • Validation after the grant of the European patent - postponing and avoiding costs for translation

  • Centralized opposition, limitation and revocation procedure

The European Patent Office


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European Patent Organisation

Administrative Council

European Patent Office

  • The executive body

  • responsible for examining

    European patent

    applications

  • On the basis of bilateral agreements acting as RO, ISA and IPEA under the Patent Co-operation Treaty (PCT)

  • The legislative body

  • made up of delegates from themember states

  • supervises the activities of the Office

  • has a specific legislative function

Structure of the European Patent Organisation

The European Patent Office


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36 member states

Austria • Belgium • Bulgaria • Croatia • Cyprus • Czech Republic • Denmark • Estonia • Finland • France • Germany •Greece • Hungary • Iceland • Ireland • Italy • Latvia • Liechtenstein • Lithuania •Luxembourg • Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia • Malta • Monaco • Netherlands • Norway • Poland • Portugal • Romania • San Marino •Slovakia • Slovenia • Spain • Sweden • Switzerland • Turkey • United Kingdom

European patent applications and patents can also be extended at the applicant's request to the following states:

Albania • Bosnia-Herzegovina • Serbia

Status: July 2009

The European Patent Office


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Locations

Munich

headquarters

Brussels

Relations with the European

institutions and other

organisations/

associations

Munich

Patent grant procedure

Appeals

Quality management

Administration

Legal services

International affairs

The Hague

Patent grant procedure

Information management

Administration

Legal services

Vienna

Patent information

Administration

European affairs

Berlin

Patent grant procedure

Administration

The European Patent Office


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Number of staff

Munich

3 629

The Haag

2 659

Berlin

276

Vienna

117

Brussels

4

Total

6 685

Around 60 % are patent examiners.

Stand: December 2008

The European Patent Office


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The European patentAdvantagesPatentability criteriaGrant procedureKey figuresCost

The European patent


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What advantages does a European patent have?

Unitary protection standards in the contracting states

  • One application, one language, one procedure

  • “A la carte” market by possibility of excluding countries from designation

    Cost effective

    Cost effective when protection is sought in at least four contracting states

    Strong

  • Thorough search – 169 million documents

  • Substantive examination = sound legal protection

The European patent


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What is patentable?

  • To be patentable, an invention must:

    • have a technical character (e.g. comprise a product, process or apparatus)

    • be new

    • involve an inventive step

    • be industrially applicable

  • Some innovations are not patentable under the EPC:

    • for example, mathematical methods or formulae, computer programs and business methods as such are not regarded as inventions

    • new plant or animal varieties and inventions whose commercial exploitation would be contrary to "ordre public" or morality (e.g. the cloning of human life) are examples of inventions excluded from patentability

The European Patent


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The grant procedure at a glance

European

patent

application

Refusal of the

application

Validation in

the designated

states

Applicant

Limitation or

revocation

proceedings

Filing and

formalities

examination

Substantive

examination

Grant of a

European patent

Appeal

proceedings

Search and search

report together

with a preliminary

opinion on

patentability

European

Patent

Office

Opposition

proceedings

Publication of

the application

and search

report

Publication of

the patent

specification

Public domain

Observations by

third parties

possible

The European Patent


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EPO Fees

Filing phase EUR 1230

Online applications EUR 1150

Examination phase EUR 2 305

Grant phase EUR 1 290

Total procedural fees EUR 4 825

Online applications EUR 4 745

The European Patent


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Fees and some reductions

  • Filing fee (€180 or online filing €100) including additional fee (€12 for the 36th and each subsequent page)

  • Search fee (€1050) (Reduction of the search fee in certain cases, for example when the earlier application was searched by the EPO as a national application)

  • Where appropriate, claims fees (€200 for the sixteenth and each subsequent claim and €500 for the 51st and each subsequent claim)

  • Translation - 20% reduction of filing, search and examination fees, when non-official languages of the EPO being official languages of the Contracting States are used (Art. 14 EPC)

  • Designation fee for one or more contracting states (€500)

The European patent


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Applications filed

Direct European filings

Euro-PCT applications entering the regional phase




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Oppositions in 2008

Oppositions were filed against 5% of granted European patents.

Over one third of all opposed patents were revoked.

Opposition rejected

Patent revoked

28.6%

39.8%

5%

Oppositions

31.6%

Granted patents

Patent maintained in amended form


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Relating to EP or PCT patent granting procedure:EPO Information Office Munichinfomunich@epo.orgTel +49-89-23994512EPO Customer Servicesinfo@epo.orgTel +49-89-2399INFO (2399 -4636)Thank you for your attention !