This is our newly installed display of the US Patent Process.
Since clients frequently want to know the process of getting a patent, we have made a simplified flowchart of the basic steps.
To be clear, this simple flowchart does NOT purport to cover every possible scenario; there are other possible complexities, and an application can have several “final” office actions. It should only serve as a general idea of the basic process for obtaining a US patent. PCT and other foreign patents are different.
We are officially moved into our new offices. We are now located at 19900 MacArthur Blvd. Suite 810, Irvine CA 92612, a few miles south of the old office building.
Here are a few pictures of the new place.
Fish IP Law is moving to a new location this weekend. We should be completely moved in by Wed. Dec. 14. The new offices will be located at 19900 MacArthur Blvd. Suite 810, Irvine, CA 92612.
The new European Unitary Patent (UP) system is now coming into effect on April 1, 2023 for 17 EU member states (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden), while other EU countries are expected to join at a later date.
In our previous article, we highlighted some benefits of the new UP system, among which there is the creation of the Unitary Patent Court (UPC), which will have jurisdiction over the infringement and validity of UP patents and over all signing member states. The UPC will also have jurisdiction over existing European Patents, but the holders of such patents will have the option to “opt out” of the UPC.
Should owners of existing European Patent opt in or opt out of the UPC?
We think that the UPC jurisdiction will be highly advantageous, considering that, first of all, it will be cheaper to litigate in and it will prevent forum shopping among member states. Also, a UPC decision, valid and enforceable in all signing member states, will prevent diverging decisions and lack of legal certainty. One foreseeable and important disadvantage, however, is that a patent deemed invalid by a UPC decision will also be automatically invalidated in all signing member states.
In any case, the UP system will undoubtedly be worth it for those seeking protection in numerous member states, as the cost of filing through the UP system is scheduled to be about the same as filing in five individual states.
A new European Unitary Patent (UP) system is expected to come into effect in the second half of 2022, making it possible to get patent protection in up to 25 EU Member States with one single application.
Under the current system, once granted by the European Patent Office (EPO), European patents must be validated, maintained, enforced or revoked in each member state individually. Requirements usually vary between countries, which makes the process complicated and costly.
The UP seems to have several important benefits:
- A simplified prosecution, with no extra requirements (such as translations) and fees.
- One renewal system and all the administration post grant handled centrally through the EPO.
- A Unitary Patent Court (UPC) dealing with infringement and validity of UP patents and European patents, and having jurisdiction over all signing member states (see here for the list).
- Harmonization of substantive law, which should make patent prosecution in Europe much easier to navigate and hopefully prevent inconsistent decisions.
- A transitional period of seven years with the option of opting out of the UPC jurisdiction for classic European patents, in favor of litigation before national courts.
At Fish IP Law, we remember countless occasions in which the current system has caused delays, expenses and, put quite frankly, headaches. For example, recording the transfer of a granted patent requires recordation in each member state in which the registration was validated. Thus, a simple recordation can involve communicating with several foreign associates, preparing and executing different forms and documents and spending a considerate amount of money.
The expectations for the new simplified UP system are high and we hope they will be met with a positive result.