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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.

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Presentation on theme: "The European Patent Office and the patent granting procedure Heli Pihlajamaa European Patent Office Directorate Patent Law (5.2.1) 10.12.2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 The European Patent Office and the patent granting procedure Heli Pihlajamaa European Patent Office Directorate Patent Law (5.2.1)

2 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

3 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

4 Structure of the European Patent Organisation The legislative body made up of delegates from the member states supervises the activities of the Office has a specific legislative function 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 European Patent Office

5 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

6 Locations The Hague Patent grant procedure Information management Administration Legal services Vienna Patent information Administration European affairs Berlin Patent grant procedure Administration 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 European Patent Office

7 Number of staff Munich3 629 The Haag2 659 Berlin276 Vienna117 Brussels4 Total6 685 Around 60 % are patent examiners. Stand: December 2008 The European Patent Office

8 The European patent Advantages Patentability criteria Grant procedure Key figures Cost The European patent

9 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

10 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

11 The grant procedure at a glance Search and search report together with a preliminary opinion on patentability European patent application Filing and formalities examination Publication of the patent specification Applicant European Patent Office Public domain Substantive examination Grant of a European patent Opposition proceedings Appeal proceedings Limitation or revocation proceedings Refusal of the application Validation in the designated states Publication of the application and search report Observations by third parties possible The European Patent

12 EPO Fees Total procedural feesEUR Online applicationsEUR Grant phaseEUR Examination phaseEUR Filing phaseEUR 1230 Online applicationsEUR 1150 The European Patent

13 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

14 Applications filed Direct European filings Euro-PCT applications entering the regional phase

15 Applications by residence of applicant (2008)

16 European patents granted

17 Patent revoked Patent maintained in amended form Opposition rejected 39.8% 31.6% 28.6% Oppositions in 2008 Oppositions were filed against 5% of granted European patents. Over one third of all opposed patents were revoked. 5% Oppositions Granted patents

18 Relating to EP or PCT patent granting procedure: EPO Information Office Munich Tel EPO Customer Services Tel INFO ( ) Thank you for your attention !

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