European Patent Convention Guide

I. The European Patent Convention (EPC)
1. European Patent System
1.1 What is the European Patent Convention (EPC)?
1.2 Why has the European Patent Convention been established?
1.3 Contracting States
1.4 Extension States
1.5 Map of Europe,EPC member countries
2. Structure of the European Patent Office
2.1 Receiving Section
2.2 Search Divisions
2.3 Examining Divisions
2.4 Opposition Divisions
2.5 Legal Division
2.6 Boards of Appeal
2.7 Enlarged Board of Appeal
3. Flow of a European Patent Prosecution
4. Specific characteristics of the European Patent System
4.1 First-to-File System
4.2 No general duty of disclosure of the State of Art
4.3 Official languages
4.4 No Grace-Period

II. The European Patent Application
5. Application Documents
5.1 Filing Office
5.2 Requirements of the European Patent Application
5.3 Minimum Requirements for receiving a date of filing
5.4 Designation of Countries
5.5 Filing and search fees
5.6 Claim fees
5.7 Representative and Power of Attorney
5.8 Designation of Inventor(s)
5.9 Information Disclosure Statement
5.10 Filing receipt
5.11 Filing Means
6. Request for substantial examination, designation of countries
7. Divisional Applications8. Claiming Priority
8.1 Declaration of Priority
8.2 Copy of the previous application
8.3 Translation of previous application
8.4 Loss of Priority Rights
8.5 Abandoning of claiming priority
9. Renewal fees for European Patent Application
9.1 Grace Period for renewal fees
9.2 Renewal fees to National Patent Offices

III. Drafting of a European patent application
10. Drafting of EP-applications
10.2 Claims
10.3. Drawings
10.4. Abstract
11. Unity of invention
11.1. Lack of unity ”a priori” or ”a posteriori”
12. Processing of European Patent Application
12.1 Publication of EP-application
12.2. Rights after the publication of the European Patent Application
12.3 Search Report
12.4. Extended European Search Report
12.5. Acceleration according to PACE-program of EPO

IV. Examination of an EP-application
13. Examination of filing
14. Examination as to formal requirements
15. Substantial Examination
15.1. Official Actions
15.2 Reply to Official Actions
15.3 Oral Proceedings
15.4 No continuation application
16. Amendments of the European Patent Application
16.1 Possibilities and Time Frames for Amendments
16.4 Extent of Amendments
16.5 Additional Subject-Matter
17. Grant Procedures
17.1 Communication Pursuant to Rule 51(4) EPC
17.2 Amendment after Communication pursuant to Rule 51(4) EPC
17.3 Non-payment of Fees
17.4 Different Applicants for Different Countries
17.5 Different Claims for different countries
17.6. Publication of the European Patent
18. Nationalizing
19. Time Limits

V. Opposition
20. Post-grant Opposition System
20.1. Opposition Division
20.2. Relationship with National Proceedings
21. Requirements for an Opposition
21. 1. Time limit
21.2. Opposition Fee
21.3. Language Requirements
21.4. Filing of Opposition by a ”Straw Man”
22. Grounds for Opposition
23. Opposition Proceedings
23.1. Amendment of the European Patent
23.2. Written Procedure and Oral Proceedings
24. Decision of the Opposition Division
24.1 Costs of Opposition Proceedings
25. No Divisional Application during Opposition Proceedings
26. Intervention of the assumed infringer

VI. Appeal Procedures
27. Decisions being possible subject to Appeal
28. Persons entitled to an Appeal
29. Board of Appeal
30. Effect of an Appeal
31. Requirements for an Appeal
31.1. Time Limits
31.2 Fee for Appeal
32. Appeal Procedure
32.1 Interlocutory Revision
32.2. Written Procedure and Oral Proceedings
33. Decision of the Board of Appeal
34. Enlarged Board of Appeal
34.1. Binding Effect

VII. Patentability Requirements
35. Absolute Requirements
36. Relative Requirements
36.1. State of Art
36.2. Novelty
36.3 Inventiveness

VIII. Missing of Time Limits
37. Further Processing38. Restitutio in Integrum
38.1. Time-Limits not covered
38.2. Right of continuation

IX. Third Party Procedures
39. File inspection
39.1. Parts excluded from inspection
40. Observation of third parties

X. PCT-Applications
41.1. EPO as receiving office
42. EPO as designated or elected office
42.1. Supplementary European Search Report
43. EPO as ISA and IPEA

XI. Software Patents and Business Methods
44. Software related Inventions
45. Business Model Inventions
45.3 Practice regarding Proper Business Method Patents
45.4 Policy and Legislative Developments

XII. Developments
46. Revision of EPC
46.1 Forthcoming Regulations
46.2 Planned Changes of the European Patent Convention (EPC)
46.3 Status of translation problem in EPC
47. What would be a” Community Patent”?
47.1 Draft EU Council Regulation of the Community Patent
47.2 Definition of the Community Patent
47.3 Language and Translations
47.4 Infringement and Validity
47.5 Exhaustion
47.6 Private Right of Prior Use
47.7 Present Status of Discussion

XIII. Enforcement
48. Patent Litigation in Europe
48.1 Enforcing Patents in the European Union (EU)
48.2 Specific Questions of Patent Enforcement in Germany
48.3 IP Related Fast Injunction Procedures in Germany
48.4 Border Crossing Infringement
48.5 Cross-Border Litigation
48.6 Calculation of Damages in Patent Litigation Procedures in Germany
48.7 Forthcoming Changes of Patent Litigation Procedures in Germany
49. Patents ./. Public - Limits of Patent Protection
49.1 Experimental Use Privilege – Clinical Testing in Germany
49.2 Governmental Use Order and Compulsory License in Germany
49.3 Private Right of Prior Use