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US moves forward … Europe’s turn next?

On 8 September 2011, the US Senate passed a patent reform bill known as the America Invents Act. It makes some of the biggest changes to US patent law seen […]

Patent activities over the summer break

The summer break is traditionally a quiet period for industry and for patents as well, with August usually the month which produces the lowest number of patent filings. However, this […]

EU patent issues – expectations high but reasonable

In mid-summer, it is always a good idea to look ahead at what the calendar holds in store. September is invariably a busy month, culminating each year in the regular […]

Patents as intangible assets

The core tasks of the EPO – like any other patent office – are to examine the legal validity of patent applications and to disseminate patent information. The potential economic […]

The road to patent law harmonisation

On 5 and 6 July, a group of European delegates (from Denmark, France, Germany, the UK and the EPO) gathered in Tegernsee (Germany) at the EPO’s invitation for an informal […]

Transatlantic patent reform

Major decisions on patent system reform have very recently been taken on both sides of the Atlantic. Last week, the US House of Representatives passed a bill envisaging a move […]

Patents and standards can work together

At first sight, patents and standards may seem contradictory. Certainly, when defining a standard to be used by all the players in a particular market, it is indeed vital to […]

Another step towards an enhanced European IP environment

Yesterday, I had the pleasure to be in Alicante to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on co-operation with the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM). Some may question […]

Let’s celebrate IP… but not as an end in itself

Nearly ten years ago to the day, on 26 April 2001, the first World Intellectual Property Day was held. Its aim was “to celebrate creativity, and the contribution made by […]

Quality is the issue

The European Commission recently published the results of its “Patqual” survey, which asked European users for their views on the quality of the patent system in Europe. Obviously, it will […]