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European Patent Office The European Patent System serving innovation Paul Schwander EPO, The Hague.

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Presentation on theme: "European Patent Office The European Patent System serving innovation Paul Schwander EPO, The Hague."— Presentation transcript:

1 European Patent Office The European Patent System serving innovation Paul Schwander EPO, The Hague

2 2 Roadmap History Practical issues Facts and figures Conclusion

3 3 Patent law: striving for harmonisation An invention is universal

4 4 Paris Convention 1883 Before: simultaneous filings After Months

5 5 A bit of history: a European idea 1958 Treaty of Rome 1960 Idea of a European Patent 1968 Splitted into 2 projects: a European Convention – the Community Patent 1973 Convention signed 1977 European Patent Office

6 6 Example of an international patent procedure when the EPO did not exist

7 7 The Patent filed in 1975 SYSTEMS FOR STORING AND TRANSFERRING DATA

8 8 First filing followed by geographic extensions

9 9 The Smart Card Patent procedure 12 months Priority National patents

10 10 The European Patent System (National & European) or European Direct National Patents Common grant procedure Priority period

11 11 Grant procedure: Search and Examination EP Drug Release Coated Stent A stent for implantation in a body comprising a tubular metal body (10) having open ends and an open lattice sidewall structure and a layer on the surface of said sidewall structure, said layer comprising a hydrophobic elastomeric material incorporating an amount of biologically active material therein for timed delivery therefrom.

12 12 Prior art search: closest prior art documents WO A prosthesis for insertion into a lumen to limit restenosis of the lumen. The prosthesis carries restenosis-limiting drugs which elute after the device is positioned in the lumen.

13 13 Examination

14 14 Granted patent vs. Application 1.A stent for implantation in a body comprising a tubular metal body (10) having open ends and an open lattice sidewall structure and a layer on the surface of said sidewall structure, said layer comprising a hydrophobic elastomeric material incorporating an amount of biologically active material therein for timed delivery therefrom.

15 15 What advantages does a European patent have? Unitary protection standards in the contracting states One application/one language A la carte market by designation of countries Cost-effective Costs less than 3 separate national patents Strong Thorough search – 50 million documents Substantive examination = sound legal protection

16 16 Average costs: EP Patent 8 countries 10 years Patent Office % Attorney % Renewal fees % Translation % Total day 100%

17 17 Facts and Figures In 2004: filings staff members – examiners Munich-The Hague-Berlin-Vienna-Brussels 55 million patent documents in its database

18 18 Applicants origin

19 19 European Patent Organisation: Member States The European patent system

20 20 The European Patent Organisation European Patent Organisation European Patent Office Administrative Council The executive body The Office's task is to grant European patents. The legislative body Important functions: to adopt the budget to approve the President´s actions in implementing the budget to amend the Implementing Regulations and Rules relating to Fees The Administrative Council consists of delegates from the member states.

21 21 EPO and PCT Different: Granted Patent vs. Common file Linked: EPO can be an International Searching Authority and an International Preliminary Examining Authority If you want to delay decisions on geographic coverage: PCT usually preferred.

22 22 To conclude A unexpected success: 5 times more applications than initially expected A continuous harmonisation process An application of the subsidiarity principle

23 European Patent Office Thank you for your attention Paul Schwander EPO, The Hague 11 May 2005


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