Table of Contents

Patent Law and Theory

Patent Law and Theory

A Handbook of Contemporary Research

Research Handbooks in Intellectual Property series

Edited by Toshiko Takenka

This major Handbook provides a comprehensive research source for patent protection in three major jurisdictions: the United States, Europe and Japan. Leading patent scholars and practitioners join together to give an innovative comparative analysis both of fundamental issues such as patentability, examination procedure and the scope of patent protection, and current issues such as patent protection for industry standards, computer software and business methods. Keeping in mind the important goal of world harmonization, the contributing authors challenge current systems and propose necessary changes for promoting innovation.

Chapter 6: Examination Procedure at the European Patent Office

Peter Watchorn

Subjects: business and management, knowledge management, innovation and technology, knowledge management, law - academic, intellectual property law


Peter Watchorn* 1 Introduction The European Patent Convention was amended at a Diplomatic Conference held in Munich in November, 2000. The Act revising the EPC was adopted on November 29 and specified in accordance with Article 172(3) of the EPC1 and EPC 1973 that the text of the revised Convention would enter into force two years after the fifteenth state deposited its instrument of ratification or accession of the revised text with the government of the Federal Republic of Germany under Article 165(2) EPC.2 Greece deposited its instrument of ratification on the December 13, 2005 meaning that the revised EPC would enter into force at the latest on the December 13, 2007. The changes to the EPC were made for a number of reasons. First and foremost the EPC was amended to make it compliant with the Patent Law Treaty (PLT). This entailed in particular a number of changes to formal procedures for obtaining a filing date, filing missing application documents, and postfiling formalities, such as claiming priority. The application of legal remedies for failure to meet time limits by further processing and re-establishment of rights was also modified, being extended to cover time limits not previously covered under EPC 1973. Secondly, legal provisions were moved from the articles of the EPC to the implementing regulations. This was done in order to * The views and opinions expressed in the present chapter are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or practice of the...

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