Get More Patent Legal Status Info Through the Updated European Patent Register

The European Patent Office regularly updates its products, such as the patent search system Espacenet and the European Patent Register, with innovative new features and links.  The European Patent Register provides procedural and legal data on EP, Euro-PCT and PCT-filings, and within the past year we’ve seen useful updates (such as links to the Belgian, Finnish and Norwegian Patent Registers) added to the system. This month, the EPO released a new set of improvements for the European Patent Register, including:

  • An RSS feed that lists the latest EP Register Maintenance news.
  • Additional information about “Appeal following Opposition.”
  • The option to sort contents in the “Event History” view by date.

Continue reading to learn about these and many other updates recently added to the European Patent Register and the Register Alert system, and also get the latest news about plans to create a Federated Regsiter, which will display the latest official data supplied by the national patent authorities for a selected file in a consolidated table!

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Espacenet Assistant: a free resource to learn about patent information, search techniques, and more

The Espacenet Assistant is a new tool on the Espacenet site that aims to help users understand patent information, search basics, and new features within Espacenet itself. Available in English, German, and French, the tool is user friendly and easy to navigate. Especially helpful in that regard is the interface which includes a table of contents on the left side, back/forward advancement on the bottom, and web-like home/directory at the top of most pages.

From the start, the tool offers to let you take a guided tour through a large swath of information or cut to the chase with a listing of “crash courses” that get to the meat of a specific topic of information.

espacenet assistant lesson

The “crash course” system allows users to learn at their own pace and review previous material.

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European Unitary Patent: A Quick Primer

The European Unitary Patent has been a long time coming (depending on who you ask)! In any case, the process to get us where we are today has been a lenghty one. The reality of a European Union-centric patent may seem obvious to outsiders, following the economic ties generated by the creation of the EU, but the unitary patent has long been a subject of contention.

The European Patent Convention (EPC) of 1973 is the origin of the current “EP” patent administered by the European Patent Office. This patent provides protection in the member states (and extension states) party to the EPC.

The new unitary patent will live alongside the traditional “EP” patent as an option, according to the European Patent Office:

A unitary patent will be a European patent granted by the EPO under the provisions of the European Patent Convention to which unitary effect for the territory of the 25 participating states is given after grant, at the patentee’s request. The unitary patent will thus not affect the EPO’s day-to-day search, examination and granting work.

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Search Resource Round-Up: EAST Training Package, 7 New Patent Translate Languages, and SureChem Direct!

Intellogist isn’t able to hand out candy during Halloween, but we do have some treats ready.  Instead of candy corn (who needs more of that, anyways?) we have a variety of useful patent search resources for you to sink your teeth into.  During a recent foray onto the USPTO website, I noticed that there was now an introductory training package available for EAST (Examiner Automated Search Tool), so we’ll take a quick look at this helpful learning resource.  Patent search professionals are constantly on the lookout for updates to both free and subscription patent search tools which may improve their prior art searches, so I was excited to hear about two such updates: the recent release of the chemical patent search product SureChemDirect and the addition of seven languages to the Patent Translate tool on Espacenet.

Continue reading for a round-up of patent search news and resources: the EAST training package, SureChemDirect, and the new languages on Patent Translate!
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The EP-O’-Lantern

The European Patent Office (EPO) is a central cog in the intellectual property community, and according to the EPO website, it “offers inventors a uniform application procedure which enables them to seek patent protection in up to 40 European countries.”  The EPO contributes a wide range of valuable search and classification tools for both EP and international patent documents:

These contributions are just scratching the surface of the deep wealth of knowledge and resources which the EPO has contributed to the patent search field.  As a small tribute to this fantastic organization, I’d like to create a Jack-o’-lantern in its honor (last year the USPTO got its own David Kapp-o’-lantern).

The easiest way to create an EP-O’-Lantern is to simply carve the EPO logo…

Logo for the European Patent Office.

…onto the face of a pumpkin:

The EP-O’-Lantern.

After the jump, see the EP-O’-Lantern lit up for Halloween night!
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Candy ECLA Classifications

Soon the EPO will bid a fond farewell to the European Classification System (ECLA), which has already been frozen as of July 2012 and will soon be replaced by the  Cooperative Patent Classification System (CPC).  The full rollout for the CPC is January 1, 2013, but the EPO and USPTO have already released the complete CPC scheme, some finalized CPC definitions and an ECLA-to-CPC-to-IPC concordance in a recent “CPC launch package.”  Professional patent searchers will need to stay familiar with ECLA, since important patent prior art may have ECLA classification which will serve as a useful search tool.  Just in time for Halloween, let’s take a look at the sweetest ECLA classes, as well as some of the patents classified with these candy-themed codes!

After the jump, sample the sugariest ECLA class and sub-classes!
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Patent Search Updates from the EPO: New Features on Espacenet and the Full Scheme of the CPC

Where do you get your EPO news? There are plenty of choices to pick from: you can subscribe to an RSS feed for news or website updates, receive a bimonthly e-mail newsletter, or simply check the EPO website directly for news on important patent search and classification products created by the EPO, such as the free online patent search system Espacenet and the upcoming Cooperative Patent Classification system (CPC).  The EPO  recently announced updates to both of these products, so I’ll give you a brief run-down of the newest features on Espacenet and exciting news about the release of the CPC scheme and some definitions prior to the full January 1, 2013 rollout. Prior art searchers use Espacenet on a regular basis as a free source of global patent data, and the CPC will soon replace ECLA and the USPC as the main global patent classification system.

Stay up-to-date on the latest EPO news about these crucial patent search and classification products, and continue reading for a summary of recent Espacenet updates and a sneak peak at the CPC!
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