Archive | 2012, January | (5) posts

A real knowledge boost in IP!

On January 26 and 27 a very special and unique event took place at Ystad Saltsjöbad, namely Awapatent Knowledge Boost 2012! The entire company gathered and for two whole days we got the opportunity to deepen our skills in many fields, such as design, trademarks, EPO Case law, U.S. patent and much more.

The main attraction during the conference was Börje Ljunggren, Sweden’s former ambassador in China, and one of the foremost experts on Asia in Sweden. He talked about China – the drama of our age, i.e. the development of China into an economic superpower.

Börje Ljunggren, Sweden’s former ambassador in China

We got the impression that everybody was very fascinated and exited afterwards!

Read more about Börje here:

We are already looking forward to the next Knowledge Boost, and of course, we hope that it will be just as successful!

Anna Grahn and Anna Gustafsson

New PPH-agreement between Denmark and Israel

The year of 2012 has arrived with new possibilities for Danish patent applicants who wish to obtain a patent abroad in a faster and more cost efficient way:

A PPH-agreement, on a pilot project basis, between The Danish Patent and Trademark Office (DKPTO) and the Israeli Patent Office has taken effect from 5 January 2012, thus enabling patent applicants to request accelerated proceedings at the ILPO once they have obtained a decision to grant from the DKPTO.

Also, the DKPTO has announced that due to user demand efforts to establish a PPH-agreement with the Russian Patent Office have been initiated. It is expected that a PPH-agreement between DKPTO and ROSPATENT will enter into force on 1 February 2012.

Read more about the DKPTO-ILPO PPH-agreement.

As always, we shall endeavour to keep our readers updated on further developments.

Troels Peter Rørdam, European Patent Attorney & Certified Danish Patent Agent

Time to practice …

It has been full speed ahead since the beginning of September and we have absorbed a lot of new knowledge from the interesting lectures, seminars and assignments during the course of the specialist programme. During the weeks with seminars we have been able to spend time at the offices in Malmö, Gothenburg and Stockholm getting to know other parts of the company.

For a few weeks now we have been at our home office applying what we have learnt from the weeks with seminars and lectures to real cases, with the support and guidance of our supervisors. The assignments have, for example, included translating claims into Swedish, drafting patent applications and carrying out a novelty search.

Together with the other participants in the specialist programme from Gothenburg, we also have had time to entertain our colleagues with the annual “Lucia-tåget” at the office. Lucky for us, it’s not the voice that counts in this profession.

In a few weeks we will return to a third seminar period which will include seminars in sales technique, business planning, corporate analysis and a continuation of application drafting. These upcoming months will probably be as interesting and motivating as these past months, so I am looking forward to an exciting spring.

Sara Lönn, Associate

Claiming a non-therapeutic use with inseparably associated therapeutic effect

A use of a substance or composition for the treatment of humans by therapy is excluded from patentability according to the EPC Article 53(c). However, claiming a non-therapeutic use of a substance or composition may still fall under this same exclusion if the non-therapeutic use is inseparably associated with a therapeutic use.

This was confirmed by the Technical Board of Appeal in a case against a decision from the Opposition Division (T1635/09). The case in suit related to the use of a contraceptive composition with reduced concentrations of the active substances, wherein the use had the further effect of preventing or reducing pathological side-effects (i.e. a therapeutic effect).

In the Board’s assessment of the subject-matter of the patent as a whole it was found that the reduced concentrations served solely to prevent or reduce the side-effects. Thus, the contraceptive effect was inseparably associated with the therapeutic effect.

Provisions in the EPC exist for claiming the substance or composition for use in the treatment; previously in the form of Swiss-type claims, i.e. a claim directed at the use of a substance or composition for the manufacture of a product for the treatment in question. However, the Board finds that the wording “manufacture of a product” according to the Swiss-type claim inherently provides an additional protection of the product per se. Hence, in T1635/09 it was further confirmed that a use claim (as excluded under EPC) cannot readily be converted into a corresponding Swiss-type claim (or the equivalent new format) without also extending the protection of the patent.

Consequently, owing to the facts of this case, applicants (in particular from the U.S., where the similar use claims are not excluded from patentability) should carefully consider the form and wording of use claims directed at protecting treatments by therapy as well as claims related to non-therapeutic uses, wherein the use may be associated with a therapeutic effect.

Jakob Leffland Reimers, Associate

Starting to get the hang of this …

A couple of months into the Specialist programme, most of the things I’ve been taught about IP have started to settle. I’m starting to know my way around and even the language of patent applications comes quite naturally by now.

During these months we’ve had quite a few senior colleagues teaching us how to write patent applications. I was surprised at first, that people were giving such different advice. Everyone seemed to have their own way of writing and I remember thinking that surely someone ought to know best. As time has passed it has become quite clear that there is no universal best way of writing. There are too many things to consider when writing, depending on the type of invention involved and the purpose of the application. You just have to figure out your own way of writing, picking up advice as you go.

The end of 2011 has been very busy at my home office in Stockholm. I pushed myself quite hard to finish writing a patent application in time for Christmas – and yes, discussing my first draft with a senior colleague revealed “a few” things I need to improve. Now, after a week of vacation, I’m back at it again.

David Färm, Associate