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european patent changes seminar

Wednesday 12 March, 2008

I attended this seminar @ DePaul University College of Law The USA Business Impact of A Changing European Patent Regulatory Environment which was co-sponsored by the Association of Patent Law Firms

The presentations & my notes for each are included below:

EPO & the London agreement

-All European countries will eventually ratify the London agreement, but it still makes sense to have translations done in appropriate countries just to be sure your back is covered.

appeals to the epo

-the boards of appeal consist of judges, not examiners

-1600 of 2000 cases/year are settled by decisions of the boards of appeal

-early is best for new documents & arguments in general procedures & timings

-oral proceedings take 1 day-1 week, depending on the # of parties & you receive a decision that day, but no reasoning behind it

-there is no unified patent law in Europe, it’s just a bundle of national patent laws-they can contradict 1 another & still stand

-minutes are a joke

-you can still go back to national courts

-there is no doctrine of equivalence

oppositions before the epo
-documents are 90% of the procedure, & it’s better if they’re in the public domain with prior public use & a written trace

-hearing the parties is seldom done

-opinions by experts are unlikely to be considered

-arguments can be thrown out for being badly argued

-markers are needed for thesis documents referenced in university libraries

Since these presentations were given by lawyers, I’m going to reserve my commentary other than to say, if you’re a patent attorney, I’m sure there’s lots of valuable information here. Otherwise, there’s a lot of detail with which you need not concern yourself.

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