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Patent watch

Patent Watch : a strategic tool for innovation

There is no doubt that patents play a crucial role in promoting technological development. However, due to the ever increasing filing of patent applications, patent monitoring can be a daunting task.

Have you ever wondered what is the latest innovation in your field of expertise? Not only for the effort to find partnerships but also, to identify potential competitors or determine if you are free to operate. To stay informed on all levels in this capacity, a formalized program to “patent watch” can provide valuable business intelligence for your company.

ChatGPT : a pioneer of generative AI

ChatGPT : a pioneer of generative AI

In today’s tech-driven world, ChatGPT is virtually impossible to ignore. Emerging as a vanguard in generative AI, its impact on content creation pervades both mainstream media and the daily routines of myriad individuals. While ChatGPT boasts undeniable advantages, it prompts crucial discussions surrounding intellectual property (IP) and the impact of AI on the patent system.

artificial intelligence & patents what's the connection?

Artificial Intelligence & Patents: what’s the connection?

A working group started in January 2022 with the aim to establish a common understanding of terms and to outline a common practice among EPC contracting and extension states and the EPO. Several aspects are playing a role in the very fast expansion of AI that we see today. For example, processing power has increased significantly and better AI models are available as a tool. Combine that with big data, cloud computing, 5G, etc. and AI can solve technical problems in almost any technical domain. This resulted in the past years in a significant rise of the number of AI-related patent applications.

Abortion pill: effect on patentability

Abortion pill: effect on patentability

The abortion pill belongs to the category of medicines insofar as it is subject to marketing authorization, at least in Europe and the United States, and must be prescribed by a doctor. The two main active ingredients in the abortion pill are mifepristone, launched on the European market in 1982, and misoprostol.

The issue addressed here is the patentability of the abortion pill itself. Indeed, most patent laws provide for exceptions to patentability, including inventions whose commercial exploitation would be contrary to ordre public and morality, as well as therapeutic treatment methods applied to the human body.

CRISPR usage suddenly become patent infringement

Will CRISPR gene editing suddenly become patent infringement on June 1st?

The research exemption for patents has long been a vital mechanism in striking a balance between protecting inventors’ rights and promoting scientific exploration. Within Europe, Belgium historically provided a notoriously broad exemption relating to research. However, on the 1st of June this year, the Unified Patent Court will start. One of the aims of the new patent court is harmonization and Belgium and other countries that will join the system have aligned their patent law. The changes that have been introduced in the Belgian law will have an immediate impact on companies, universities and institutes and concern general research as well as research and development for medicines specifically.

Unitary Patent

Latest News on UP & UPC

In its welcome message at the conference in Brussels on the Unitary Patent system, James Nurton, moderator of today’s event, shows a slide announcing that the new system, will start on April 1, 2023 with 17 participating EU Member States*.  While we are still waiting for the exact date of ratification of the UPC agreement by Germany, the April 1, 2023 start date seems thus now (almost) certain.

Why ask a patent attorney to write and file a patent application?

According to the (European) patent law, “A European patent application may be filed by any natural or legal person, or anybody equivalent to a legal person by virtue of the law governing it. [Art. 58 EPC]”. What this ultimately means is that any person is allowed to draft and file their own patent application for their valuable idea or innovative product. However, before grabbing pen and paper to draft your own patent application, there seems to be only one ‘pro’ we can identify with this approach yet several ‘cons’

Patent protection

Did you know that patent protection can be claimed for other categories than physical devices?

There are different categories of patent claims that can be used. In general, a distinction can be made between two different categories.
A first general category of patent claims is the “product claim”, which relates to physical entities such as products, devices and apparatuses, but can also include, for example, chemical substances and compositions.
A second general category of patent claims is the “process claim”, which relates to activities, such as methods, processes and uses, as long as some material product is used for effecting such activities. However, there are some exceptions to this which are explicitly excluded from patentability, such as biological processes for the production of plants or animals, and surgical, therapeutic or diagnostic methods for treatment of the human or animal body. Whereas, product claims relating to products for the use in surgical, therapeutic or diagnostic methods are permitted.

Exacting wording in my patent claims

Should I care about the exact wording used in my patent claims? Infringement proceedings: prosecution history estoppel versus doctrine of equivalents?

In Europe, according to the EPC and its Protocol on Interpretation (Protocol herein after), the claims should be interpreted adopting a balanced approach that combines a fair protection for the patent holder with a reasonable degree of certainty for third parties.

In this perspective, the claims should not be interpreted strictly, in the sense of only the dictionary definition of a certain wording. Conversely, these claims should not be treated as mere guidelines, since the claims play a determinative part in deciding on the patent’s scope. The Protocol thus requires a middle ground between the two extremes to guarantee a balance between fairness to the patent holder and giving the public reasonable certainty as to what the claims actually cover.