The European Patent Office (EPO)

5Qualcomm 1 854 8.8% 6Royal Philips 1 733-1.9% 7United Technologies 1 719-16.8% 8Intel 1 435 13.2% 9Robert Bosch 1 412 6.4% 10Ericsson 1 373 16.1% Thi...

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The European Patent Office (EPO) An introduction to the EPO and the European patent system Milena Lonati

9 May 2019

Contents ▪ The patent system ▪ The European Patent Office (EPO) ▪ Patent procedure ▪ Quality of EPO patents ▪ Statistics ▪ The success story of a European patent granted to Novamont ▪ Contact

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What is a patent? ▪ Patents legal protect technical inventions ▪ They give owners the right to prevent third parties from making, using or exploiting an invention without authorisation ▪ They are geographically limited ▪ They are valid for up to 20 years

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An incentive for economic growth ▪ Enables patent holders to recoup their development costs ▪ Makes the latest technological knowledge available to the public ▪ Inspires further innovation ▪ Prevents duplication of R&D ▪ Provides the legal basis for licensing and R&D co-operation ▪ Attracts venture capital funds and investors

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Importance of IPR-intensive industries for EU economy Contribution to EU GDP

Share of EU employment

IPR-intensive industries, € 5.7 trillion, 42%

IPR-intensive industries, 82 million jobs, 38%

Patent-intensive industries, € 2.0 trillion, 15%

Patent-intensive industries, 36 million jobs, 17%

Source: IPR-intensive industries and economic performance in the European Union – Joint Report 2016 from the EPO and EUPIO – Data 2011-2013. Note: IPR: IP rights: trade marks, patents, designs, copyrights, geographical indications and plant variety rights.

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Patentability Requirements Patents are granted for inventions in all fields of technology To be patentable, inventions must ▪ be new ▪ involve an inventive step ▪ be industrially applicable They must relate to a product, process, apparatus or use. Excluded from patentability: inventions that do not have a technical character (mathematical theory, computer programs etc.). Exceptions to patentability: methods of treatment of the human or animal body etc. European Patent Office

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Contents ▪ The patent system ▪ The European Patent Office (EPO) ▪ Patent procedure ▪ Quality of EPO patents ▪ Statistics ▪ The success story of a European patent granted to Novamont ▪ Contact

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The EPO at a glance EPO mission To provide patent protection for inventions in up to 40 European countries on the basis of one single application

2

nd

largest

intergovernmental institution in Europe (not a EU institution)

EPO locations: Munich (headquarters), The Hague, Berlin, Vienna and Brussels

Self-financing:

2.3

Budget of EUR bn without any public funding

7 000 employees, of which around 4 400 highly

qualified patent examiners working in all fields of technology European Patent Office

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Today ... an area with some 700m inhabitants 38 European member states Belgium • Germany • France Luxembourg • Netherlands • Switzerland United Kingdom • Sweden • Italy • Austria Liechtenstein • Greece • Spain • Denmark Monaco • Portugal • Ireland • Finland Cyprus • Turkey • Bulgaria • Czech Rep. Estonia • Slovakia • Slovenia • Hungary Romania • Poland • Iceland • Lithuania Latvia • Malta • Croatia • Norway Former Yugoslav Rep. Macedonia San Marino • Albania • Serbia Two European extension states Bosnia and Herzegovina • Montenegro Four validation states Republic of Moldova Morocco • Tunisia Cambodia European Patent Office

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Structure of the European Patent Organisation European Patent Organisation

Administrative Council

European Patent Office

The legislative body ▪ is made up of representatives of the member states ▪ supervises the activities of the Office ▪ appoints the President ▪ votes on the Office's budget ▪ supervises the activities of the Boards of Appeal unit

The executive body ▪ is responsible for searching, examining and publishing patent applications ▪ is responsible for holding opposition proceedings The Boards of Appeal appeal proceedings are the responsibility of the Boards of Appeal unit

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Our staff Munich

3 806

The Hague

2 708

Berlin

239

Vienna

93

Brussels Total

4 6 850

64% are patent examiners Source: EPO data on 31.12.2017.

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Contents ▪ The patent system ▪ The European Patent Office (EPO) ▪ Patent procedure ▪ Quality of EPO patents ▪ Statistics ▪ The success story of a European patent granted to Novamont ▪ Contact

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PROSECUTION STAGES

▪ Each European patent application is searched by using the EPO large data base and examined by an examining division (3 technical experts) for compliance with patentability criteria. ▪ If the patentability criteria are met a European patent is granted; if they are not met a patent is refused. ▪ If one (or more) party is not satisfied with the grant of a patent, an opposition can be filed within 9 months. Three possible outcomes: patent maintained as granted or limited in scope or revoked. ▪ It either the patent owner or the opponent(s) is not satisfied an appeal can be filed with the Boards of Appeal within 2 months. A final decision on the validity of the patent is taken.

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Summary of the patent prosecution stages Search Examination Grant or refusal of a patent 9 months Opposition 2 months Appeal

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The role of the EPO in the European patent prosecution procedure (1)

The EPO provides patent protection: ▪ in up to 38 EPO member states, 2 extension and 4 validation states based on a single application ▪ in one of the three official languages (English, French, German) The EPO makes all patent documents available to the public.

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The role of the EPO in the European patent prosecution procedure (2)

The EPO is also responsible for: ▪ opposition by third parties (the granted patent is re-examined by an opposition division) ▪ appeal proceedings before the Boards of Appeal (boards of 3 members)

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The EPO also processes international applications (152 contracting states)

The EPO carries out approximately: ▪ 34% of all international search procedures ▪ 63% of all international preliminary examinations The EPO delivers the international search report accompanied by a written opinion on patentability

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PCT CONTRACTING STATES (152 on 01.02.2019)

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All patent documents are accessible free of charge on epo.org

Espacenet Over 100 million patent documents, easily searchable Patent Translate Automatic translation between English and 31 other languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Russian

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Contents ▪ The patent system ▪ The European Patent Office (EPO) ▪ Patent procedure ▪ Quality of EPO patents ▪ Statistics ▪ The success story of a European patent granted to Novamont ▪ Contact

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Highly skilled and trained examiners Minimum requirements ▪ Master's degree in physics, chemistry, engineering or natural sciences ▪ Excellent knowledge of two official languages (DE, EN, FR) and the ability to understand the third one

Continuous, career-long training ▪ On-the-job training during the first two years ▪ Extensive legal and procedural classroom training ▪ Individual coaching by experienced examiners

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State-of-the-art databases and search tools World's largest collection of documents ▪ 1.3 billion records of patent and non-patent literature ▪ Standard documentation: around 3.2 million documents ▪ Full coverage of Asian patent literature: 50 million records ▪ Machine translation from 31 languages into English

EPOQUE search tool: a benchmark used by examiners worldwide ▪ In 48 patent offices, including Australia, Brazil and China

CPC1 becoming the new world standard for classification

¹ Classification system for patent documents jointly developed by the EPO and the US Patent and Trademark Office.

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Thorough work and review processes at all stages Search

Examination and grant

Opposition

Appeal

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▪ Report supplemented by a written opinion on patentability

▪ Three specialised examiners check every file

▪ Filed by any person and examined by three specialised examiners, at least two of whom have not been involved in the grant

▪ Heard by an independent second-instance judiciary: Boards of Appeal

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Quality European patents

Highly skilled and trained examiners

State-of-the-art databases and tools

Thorough work and review processes at all steps

Timely delivery in accordance with user expectations

ISO 9001-certified Quality Management System

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Contents ▪ The patent system ▪ The European Patent Office (EPO) ▪ Patent procedure ▪ Quality of EPO patents ▪ Statistics ▪ The success story of a European patent granted to Novamont ▪ Contact

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Total European patent applications in 2017 148 027

152 703

160 004

159 316

159 590 165 353 +3.9%

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017 2017

Source: EPO. Status: 22.1.2018. European patent applications include direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase during the reporting period.

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Origin of European patent applications in 2017 Others 5% R. Korea 4%

Germany 15%

P.R. China 5% France 6% Japan 13%

Switzerland 4% Netherlands 4%

EPO member states 47%

United Kingdom 3% Italy 3% Sweden 2% United States 26%

Other EPO member states 10%

Source: EPO. Status: 22.1.2018. European patent applications include direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase during the reporting period. The geographic origin is based on the country of residence of the first applicant listed on the application form (first-named applicant principle).

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Top EPO applicants in 2017

10

TOP

2017

Change

1Huawei

2 398

0.3%

2Siemens

2 220

18.7%

3LG

2 056

-11.1%

4Samsung

2 016

-13.0%

5Qualcomm

1 854

8.8%

6Royal Philips

1 733

-1.9%

7United Technologies

1 719

-16.8%

8Intel

1 435

13.2%

9Robert Bosch

1 412

6.4%

1 373

16.1%

10Ericsson EPO member states

United States

P.R. China

R. Korea

This is the ranking of the main consolidated applicants at the EPO in 2017 (first-named applicant principle). It is based on European patent applications filed with the EPO, which include direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase during the reporting period. Applications by identifiable subsidiaries, not necessarily located in the same country, are allocated to the consolidated applicants. The countries refer to the country of residence of the headquarters.

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Contents ▪ The patent system ▪ The European Patent Office (EPO) ▪ Patent procedure ▪ Quality of EPO patents ▪ Statistics ▪ The success story of a European patent granted to Novamont ▪ Contact

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Dr. Catia Bastioli, CEO of Novamont inventor of Mater-B bioplastic

GENERATING VALUE: THE SUCCESS STORY OF NOVAMONT Employees Revenues Patent-Porfolio

1989-1991

Catia and 3 other scientists developed biodegradable plastics

——

——

1991

Novamont S.p.A. was founded

——

——

2007

120

50 M €

60

2016

600

170 M €

1000

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