The European Patent Office (EPO) is receiving ever increasing numbers of patent applications that include a ‘programmed computer’ as a key part of the described invention.  Moreover, this growth in filings is being seen in technical fields that are not traditionally considered to be computer-centric.  For example, according to EPO statistics, 40% of new patent…

The European Patent Office ‘will consider possible next actions’ together with the EPO Member States after a high-profile decision of a Board of Appeal earlier this week, concerning the patentability of plants. In case T 1063/18, the BoA decided that EPC Rules which were introduced by the EPO Administrative Council in 2017 to exclude plants…

by Adam Lacy and Thorsten Bausch As European patent professionals are all too aware, the Boards of Appeal of the EPO (BOA) have a huge amount of power, particularly over the rights of patentees. In EPO opposition proceedings, the BOA have the final say on whether to revoke a patent across all of the EPC…

Plants which are produced according to essentially biological processes need to be held patentable, despite EPO Guidelines which were introduced in 2017 to exclude them from patentability. The EPO Board of Appeal came to this remarkable decision earlier today in case T 1063/18. By Frits Michiels and Bart van Wezenbeek Those who thought that the…

Setting the record straight concerning the right to dependent claims under the EPC by Thomas Wyder and Stephan Steinmüller (Hoffmann Eitle) EPO Examiners sometimes urge Applicants to delete dependent claims considered to relate to “unsearched subject-matter” after having raised a unity a posteriori objection. We are investigating in how far the EPC justifies forcing an…

The Administrative Council of the European Patent Office must act and support president António Campinos in initiatives to end ‘the persistent atmosphere of intimidation’ at the EPO. That is the message of a letter which was sent to the heads of delegation of the Administrative Council (AC) earlier this week by the EPO-FLIER Team, ‘a…

The European Patent Office and representatives of 14 German law firms who had expressed concerns about EPO patent quality earlier this year in a letter, have started a “constructive dialogue”. The representatives had a meeting with the new President of the European Patent Office, António Campinos, and other EPO officials, on 16 October 2018 in…

For the first time, the European Patent Office has published guidelines on the patentability of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies. The guidelines (G-II 3.3.1) came into force on 1 November 2018. As the guidelines provide, AI and ML are “based on computational models and algorithms for classification, clustering, regression and dimensionality reduction,…

On 10 October 2018 the Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in the matter of Icescape Limited v Ice-World International BV & Ors*. Three discrete issues were considered by the Court and, although the decision of the Lord Justices of Appeal ultimately did not change the effect of the first instance judgment, the opinions…

On 1 July 2018, António Campinos became president of the European Patent Office, as successor of Benoit Battistelli, whose authoritarian leadership and conflicts with staff members and union leaders led to years of deep social unrest at the EPO. Hundred days after the leadership change, there is cautious optimism Campinos is committed to improving the…