EPO Patent Search Matters

I will be attending 2019’s European Patent Office (EPO) “Patent Search Matters” training event in Munich, Germany on May 7 and 8. I hope to see you there!

From the EPO:

The next in the EPO’s “Search Matters” series of annual training events will be held in Munich from 6 to 8 May 2019. This event provides patent search professionals with a unique opportunity to gain an insight into the EPO’s search strategies and techniques and to learn more about industry-specific searches.

At a total of 26 workshops run by patent examiners, participants will be able not only to take a closer look at a wide range of topics, including the impact of AI and blockchain on searching, search strategies and Asian prior art, but also to find out more about search tools such as Espacenet and PATSTAT and explore the complexity of searching in the automotive, ICT and chemistry fields. The programme includes plenary lectures and a round table on searchers’ hopes and fears and the future of searching in an AI and blockchain landscape.

In addition, at the much-sought-after “at-the-desk” sessions, to be held on the afternoon of 6 May, before the main event officially starts, participants will have a chance to talk to EPO examiners about approaches to searching in specific technical areas which they can select when registering.

(https://www.epo.org/law-practice/legal-texts/official-journal/2018/12/a106.html)

EPO Patent Information Conference

For the past few years I have enjoyed attending the European Patent Office’s (EPO) annual Patent Information Conference, which is held in a different European city each year. In 2015 it was based in Copenhagen, and in 2016 it was held in Madrid. This year (2017) it is held in Sofia, Bulgaria. There are several training sessions along with discussion rounds covering a variety of topics, such as patent-related searches, freedom to operate assessments, patent analytics, patent asset monitoring, and of course patent information and evaluation tools. As described in an earlier post about European patents, as a US-based patent analyst I find it beneficial to continue to stay informed about the latest developments in European patent law and data. This annual conference provides me with the opportunity to learn, and I also have met many great patent professionals at these conference events. Additionally, there are dozens of excellent exhibitors showing off their latest patent information and analysis software and services.

Europe is my home away from home, and I love spending time there and exploring new cities, as well as learning from peers. This conference is also relatively inexpensive compared to most patent conferences in the US.

Please let me know if you plan to attend this year’s (or any future year’s) EPO Patent Information Conference, and I can plan to meet you for a chat.

European Patents

In my patent analysis practice, I continue to see an increase in requests to review European (EP) patents. This is likely due to a variety of reasons, including case law decisions in the United States in recent years, along with the promise of a European Unified Patent Court (UPC). In any case, I find it advantageous as a US-based patent analyst to be familiar with European patent practice because there are many differences from US practice, and of course there are different resources available for European patent review.

For example, while Google Patents provides support for EP patents, there is additional information available from European Patent Office (EPO) websites such as Espacenet (technical information) and European Patent Register (legal information, like the USPTO’s Public PAIR). And once a European patent is granted, it is currently enforced in each separate designated contracting state (nation) after validation procedures (such as providing language translations); renewal fees are also thereafter paid to each contracting state. This makes determining current status more difficult — one must determine in which nations the granted patent is enforceable (a topic for a future blog post).

With regard to European patents, the Chrome browser “Patent Claims Tree” extension has been updated to:

  1. provide a link to both Espacenet and the European Patent Register for a given EP patent, such as when viewed in Google Patents
  2. handle claims viewed in Espacenet
  3. provide enhanced German claim text analysis
  4. fix claims extraction for EP patents in Google Patents (based on updates to Google Patents)

 

EPO links
Links to Espacenet and Register for EP patents.

 

Espacenet claims tree
Espacenet claims tree