Your source of information on patenting issues in the news.
While some countries grant patents for software - a hotly debated topic - the practice in Europe is different. To get a European patent for a computer-implemented invention (CII), inventors need to show that their invention actually makes a contribution in a technical field.
Biotechnology has consistently ranked among the ten largest technical fields at the EPO in the last few years, yet the professional and public debate about the patentability of biotechnological inventions continues.
The number of nanotechnology patent applications filed with the EPO is
still relatively small, but experts predict that nanotechnology will
become the next big growth field after biotechnology. The EPO, ensures
that applications are treated by examiners with experience in the
specific field, and has created a new nanotechnology database.
Traditional knowledge (TK) encompasses such things as food and
agriculture, the environment, conservation of biological diversity, and
traditional medicines. Working together with other bodies, the EPO is
attempting to document TK and to provide examiners with access to the
documentation so that they can use it when they examine related patent
The EPO continues to examine the link between patents and clean energy
by means of ongoing analyses and surveys. It has also developed a new
classification scheme which enables users to identify and retrieve
information on clean energy patents.
The EU patent - formerly the Community patent - is a patent reform package currently under debate within the European Union. If adopted, it would allow a single patent valid in all EU member states.
The European Patent Litigation Agreement (EPLA) is a voluntary
agreement which has not yet been ratified by the member states of the
European Patent Organisation. It aims to establish a European Patent
Court, an integrated judicial system - including uniform rules of
procedure - and a common appeals court.
The London Agreement (Article 65 EPC) is aimed at reducing the costs relating to the translation of European patents.
As part of a three-year project, the EPO interviewed over 100 key players in the fields of science, business, politics, ethics, economics and law, seeking their opinions on the key factors and challenges likely to have an impact on patenting and IP in the future. The result: four challenging, relevant and plausible scenarios describing four possible future worlds.