November 6, 2018

Europe: Sharp Rise in Patent Applications for Self-Driving Vehicles

Recent statistics for patent applications reveal that innovation in self-driving vehicles (SDV) is accelerating fast and could signal the coming of a transport revolution. The number of European patent applications related to autonomous driving has grown 20 times faster than other technologies in recent years.  Patent applications for autonomous driving increased by 330%, between 2011 and 2017, compared to 16% across all technologies in the same period.  The study was carried out in co-operation with the European Council for Automotive R&D (EUCAR).   Source:
April 20, 2018

EPO: Fee Reductions Effective April 1, 2018

The European Patent Office announced that effective April 1, 2018 fee reductions for patent applications entered into force.   A summary of these fee reductions includes the following: The EPO will not apply the biennial fee adjustment for 2018-2020. PCT search and Examination fees are reduced by EUR 100 each Increased discount on EPO examination fees for files already examined by the EPO in PCT proceedings from the current 50% to 75%.  Applicants will now only pay EUR 456.24 instead of EUR 912.50 Source:  EPO
March 26, 2018

European Union: UK Ratifies Hague Agreement for Industrial Designs

  On March 13, 2018, the UK deposited the instrument of ratification of the Geneva Act (1999) of the Hague Agreement with WIPO, in Geneva, completing its final step toward joining the Hague Agreement for industrial designs.  The Act will come into effect on June 13, 2018. The Decision to join the Hague system will allow applicants to register designs in the UK through an application filed with the International Bureau at WIPO.   Source:  Clare A. Cornell, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
March 26, 2018

European Union: EPO to Allow Earlier Payment of Third Year Renewal Fee

Effective April 1, 2018, the payment window for the third year renewal fee is being extended. It will now be possible for Applicants to pay the third year renewal fee up to six months before it falls due. This change means that, in most cases, applicants will now have the opportunity to pay the third year renewal fee at the same time they bring a PCT application into the regional phase in the EPO. This change applies to any application for which the third year renewal fee is paid on or after 1 April 2018.  This change only applies to the third year renewal fee, subsequent renewal fees may still only be validly paid within a three month window before they fall due. Source: Sanam Habib, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner. LLP
March 26, 2018

Europe: Changes in EPO Official Fees Effective April 1, 2018

The EPO has announced that effective April 1, 2018 there will be a number of changes in its official fees, although the majority of the fees remain unchanged.  Some of the key changes to fees include: Search Fees– The reduced search fee which has traditionally been available for international applications will no longer be available Appeal Fee– will increase from €1,880 to €2,255 for larger companies.  The current, lower fee amount will still apply if the appeal is filed by an individual, small or medium sized enterprise, university, public research organization, or non-profit organization. Electronic filing– the fee for filing European patent applications non-electronically is being raised to €250, but if filed electronically, the existing fee of €120 will apply. PCT Applications- fees payable to the EPO as International Searching Authority or International Examining Authority will decrease. The reduction is presumably intended to encourage more Applicants to make use of the EPO’s services in relation to PCT applications.   Source:  Sanam, Habib, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
October 12, 2017

Europe: EPO and EAPO Start Fast-Track Patent Examination

Inventors and businesses applying for patent protection at the EPO and the Eurasian Patent Office (EAPO) will now be able to benefit from fast-track patent examination at both offices, following the entry into force of the joint Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program. The PPH also permits each participating patent office to share and re-use existing work results.   Source:
October 11, 2017

EPO:  New Guidelines Published for Examination of Claim Amendments

The European Patent Office (EPO) has published new guidelines for examination of claim amendments which will enter into force on November 1, 2017.  The Guidelines cover, among other things: formalities examination, search, procedural aspects of substantive examination, patentability, corrections and amendments. For more information:
October 2, 2017

Europe: Trademark Reforms Come Into Force on October 1, 2017

Effective Sunday, October 1, 2017, the second round of reforms to the EU trademark system will come into force.  The first wave of changes took place in March of 2016 with the implementation of the new trademark regulation (2015/2424) .  The latest changes are summarized below: Removal of graphical representation- One of the major changes is the removal of the requirement for graphical representation for EU trademarks (EUTMs).The result is that marks can be represented in any appropriate form, as long as the representation is “clear, precise, self-contained, easily accessible, intelligible, durable and objective.” Sounds and colors are now explicitly registerable under the trademark rules. EU Certification Mark The EU certification mark will allow a certifying institution or organization to permit parties adhering to the certification system to use the mark as a sign for goods and services, as long as they comply with the certification requirements. Some EU countries previously allowed certification marks, although a number of them (including Germany) did not. 3.  Procedural Changes The changes will also bring a number of procedural amendments into force, relating to the filing of priority claims and the enforcement of acquired distinctiveness. Source:
September 27, 2017

European Trademark Law: Additional Changes Come Into Force on October 1, 2017

In a bid to streamline processes and facilitate cooperation between Member States, the European Trademark Law has been going through the biggest reform since the introduction of the 1989 Trade Marks Directive (2008/95/EC) and the 1994 Community Trade Mark Regulation (207/2009/EC).  Although many reforms have already been introduced, additional changes will come into force on Sunday, October 1, 2017. The changes include: The elimination of the requirement for the graphical representation of a trademark  The introduction of the EU certification mark Diverse procedural changes. Source:  DEHNS
July 26, 2016

European Union: EU Trademark Applications Continue to Increase Annually

  In 2015, 70% of the 130,385 trademark applications received by the EU’s statistical office came from EU member states.   The highest number of applications originated from Germany at 20,447, followed by the United States at 16,881 and the UK in third place at 12,527.  Other countries with a high ranking number of applications were Italy, Spain and France.   The greatest number of non-EU countries (apart from the US) came from China, Switzerland, Japan and South Korea, which all numbered in the thousands.   The 89,240 applications made by EU member states represents a four-fold increase since 1996.