The European Patent Office released its annual patent report, revealing that it received a record 274,000 patent filings in 2014, a 3.1 percent hike over 2013. According to the EPO, member states like the Netherlands, France and the UK showed a significant rise in patent filings. The number of granted patents, on the other hand, was 3.1 percent lower than 2013. Get a more detailed look at the report after the break!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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:
- Merger of INPADOC records and the EPO’s own master bibliographic file in 2007 to create the INPADOC/DOCDB database, which covers about 95 patenting authorities.
- The free online search service for EP and worldwide patent documents, Espacenet.
- The official register of legal status information for the EPO, the European Patent Register.
- The ECLA classification system, designed in-house by the EPO as an enhancement to the IPC classification system, which was frozen in July 2012 and will soon be replaced by the Cooperative Patent Classification (a joint effort between the USPTO and EPO).
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…
…onto the face of a pumpkin:
After the jump, see the EP-O’-Lantern lit up for Halloween night!
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!