Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market OHIM changed its name to European Union Intellectual Property Office EUIPO

Since 23 March, the new name of the “Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) (OHIM)” is “European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO)”.

The name of the Community trade mark administered by the Office has changed to the European Union trade mark.

These changes took effect upon the entry into force of Regulation (EU) 2015/2424.

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Changes for Applicants of PCT applications as a result of the America Invents Act

The Leahy-Smith America invents Act (AIA) entered into force on September 16, 2012.

Due to the AIA, it is no longer required  to name inventors as Applicants of a PCT application solely for the purpose of the designation of the United States.

For more detailed information, refer to the FAQs regarding the AIA offered by the  WIPO, which can be found here: http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/faqs/aia.html

Automatic inclusion of priority documents in the files of European patent applications

From September 3, 2012, a copy of a previous application is automatically included in the file of a European patent application, which claims the priority the previous application, if the previous application is

  • a European patent application
  • a Chinese patent or utility model application
  • a Japanese patent or utility model application
  • a Korean patent or utility model application
  • a United States provisional or non-provisional patent application

The European Patent Office informs the Applicant of the later filed European patent application if a copy of the previous application was included in the file.

Thus, if a priority of a previous application as listed above is claimed in a European patent application, it is no longer necessary to file a certified priority document with the Eropean Patent Office.

The respective decision of the President of the European Patent Office can be found here: http://www.epo.org/law-practice/legal-texts/official-journal/president-notices/archive/20120822.html

Ireland acceded the London Agreement

Ireland acceded the London agreement and dispensed the translation requirement of European patents granted in German or French. Thus, Applicants of European patents do no longer have to file an English translation with the Irish Patents Office in order to validate European patents for Ireland, which were granted on or after September 3, 2012 (also, European patents, for which the mentions of grant were published in the 6 months prior to September 3, 2012, are no longer treated as void) .

The official information from the EPO can be found here. The official information from the Irish Patents Office is available on the official website http://www.patentsoffice.ie

Application numbers of IP rights (patents, trademarks, design patents) at GPTO in 2011 stable

In 2011, the application numbers of patents, trademarks, design patents, and utility models were overall stable, but differed for the single IP rights, as briefly outlined below:

– patent applications in 2011  nearly stable compared to 2010,

– trademark applications in 2011 decreased by about 7% compared to 2010,

– applications for design patents in 2011 increased by about 7% compared to 2010,

– applications for utility models decreased in 2011 by about 9% compared to 2010.

Amended Rule 71 and new Rule 71a EPC enter into force on 1 April 2012

On 1 April 2012, an amended Rule 71 and a new Rule 71a EPC enter into force. These EPC Rules are related to the  procedure to be followed after the Examining Division has informed the applicant of the text in which it intends to grant an European patent and are applied to all European patent applications in respect of which a communication under existing Rule 71(3) EPC has not yet been despatched by the date of entry into force of these provisions.

The decision of the administrative counsel of the European Patent Organisation with regard to the amendment of Rule 71 EPC and to the introduction of new Rule 71a EPC can be found here: http://archive.epo.org/epo/pubs/oj010/12_10/12_6370.pdf