smart patents

Smart. Patents.

The only way to get your Patents granted is by acting smartly…. Which means using Data & Analytics to navigate and keep the right course.

Is your Patent Smart enough?

Search

Prior Art Search is the foundation of every Patent Application. Knowing what’s out there is not only crucial for your own Patents, but also to understand the strength, opportunities, and risks of the landscape in general.

We think you might like to have a look at the fastest, most complete Patent Search solution that is available; TotalPatent OneTM.

Draft

A Patent is only as strong as it’s components. Drafting a strong Patent is an Art. Why make mistakes if you can learn from millions of successful patents?

Start with listening to the experts in the field and how they combine their experience with insights from the best tools available.

Prosecute

Your research was solid, your application a piece of art… now you have to wait how Patent Examiners go over it and sit back and wait…. WRONG!

If you want to know what the ETA is of your Application, then listen to this great Podcast that explain everything you need to know to watch the single most important metric

Podcast

Better Patents Now-Podcast #36 The Birth of the UltimateMetric

The Patent Workflow

Developing and retaining quality intellectual property drives innovation and advances the economy. Bringing it to life in the most efficient and comprehensive manner, understanding the competitive landscape and extracting the maximum value from your patents is critical to your success.

Great Articles on Patents

Pop Culture Patents: Coca-Cola’s Bottle Designs

FEBRUARY 7, 2018 DAVID BENNETT

The recipe for Coca-Cola is quite possibly the best-kept trade secret in the last century. It is also evidence that sometimes it is more valuable to keep product information confidential rather than to publish that information in exchange for patent protection. In Coca-Cola’s case, where their patent rights would have expired in the early twentieth century and would now be publicly known and reproducible, the company has instead enjoyed over 135 years in which no competitor has been able to produce a perfect imitation of their product. While the secrecy of the Coke recipe is an important part of their overall recipe for success, Coca-Cola has been granted hundreds of USPTO patents in a wide variety of technological fields, including a large number of design patents that play a huge rule in their IP protection strategy.

The Original Coke Bottle Design Patents

Coca-Cola’s respect for design first became apparent in 1915 when the company held a competition challenging bottle makers to come up with a bottle design so unique that it could even be recognized in the dark. This contest led to Coca-Cola’s design patent covering “hobble skirt” contour bottles (patent number USD 63,657), which was granted on December 25, 1923 and, as a result, led to the described bottles being referred to as “the Christmas bottles.” Over a decade later, Coca-Cola came up with its classic glass Coke bottle design, and they were granted fourteen years of patent protection on March 24, 1937 (patent number USD 105,529). Since then, Coca-Cola has been both proactive and prolific in using design patents to protect their products and their brand.

Coca-Cola’s Design Success

Using the patent analytics from LexisNexis PatentAdvisor®, we can take a closer look at Coca-Cola’s entire patent portfolio and the patent applications they have filed over the years. Coca-Cola has initiated patent prosecution on over 550 utility patents covering a wide range of innovations ranging from liquid dispensing technologies to data processing, however, it is important to also note the emphasis Coca-Cola has placed on protecting the aesthetics of their products; the beverage company has been granted patent rights in over 175 designs since its establishment in the late-1800s.

PatentAdvisor™ patent prosecution analytics tools allow us to see that patent examiners have historically agreed that Coca-Cola’s designs are novel and worthy of protection. Coca-Cola has managed to successfully prosecute every design patent they have filed with ease. On average, each design patent application they filed has been granted in just over a year-and-a-half of its filing date, and, in total, Coca-Cola has only needed to overcome forty Office Actions for their designs. To compare, Coca-Cola has had less success prosecuting its utility patent applications, which are granted only 58.2 percent of the time and after an average of three years and ten months in patent prosecution.

So, which of Coca-Cola’s design patent applications required the most work? Coca-Cola’s patent application number 29/436,363, simply titled “Bottle,” was granted after overcoming three Office Actions over the course of four-and-a-half years. This patent was granted on September 5, 2017.

With LexisNexis PatentAdvisor, patent practitioners can evaluate their patent prosecution success and analyze the patent statistics for nearly any USPTO patent application. PatentAdvisor patent data and patent analysis software enables better patent prosecution performance and the implementation of more successful patent prosecution strategies.

A brief update on the European Patent Office work: What’s better in 2018?

The European Patent Office has completed an internal re-organization that will enhance the efficiency of its patenting process. The move will be expected to foster the timeliness of the patent granting procedure and contribute to higher quality patents and services. This is made possible through the continuous investment of the Office in new online software tools, financial benefits for the applicants and a stronger framework for the Board of Appeals.

1. Revised rules on procedure: The new measures to be undertaken aim to improve the efficiency, consistency, and predictability of appeal proceedings before the Boards of Appeal of the EPO .

Therefore the Boards of Appeal Committee (BOAC) and the President of the Boards of Appeal have invited users to take part in the written consultation on the proposed revised Rules. The whole “restructuring” focuses on various amendments of Articles 10, 12, 13, 14 and 15 RPBA (Rules of Procedure before the Board of Appeals), which are considered the milestone of the whole appeal procedure.

Among other amendments is the acceleration provision of Article 10 which gives the Board the discretionary power to decide on a party’s request for acceleration. This means that when an applicant of a patent is engaged in an appeal procedure for a decision of EPO that is not favorable for him, he can ask the BoA to put in “fast track” the appeal process because infringement proceedings have been brought or are expected to be, or that the decision of potential licensees of the patent in suit have interest in the decision. In this way the case is given priority over other cases, and the Board may adopt a strict framework, always respecting the party’s right to be heard during the proceedings.

We must note thought that the Board may refuse the acceleration request due to its workload. On the other hand, a Board could accelerate the appeal without a request if proceedings appear to be deficient in some way.

Other proposed amendments refer to the admissibility of the appeal regarding the documents provided, the way a party can amend its statements and the content of its documents during the appeal procedure and the appeal proceedings

Is this good news?: After a close look in the draft of the proposed revision of the RPBA and the explanatory remarks set out in the document, we can

understand that the new rules aim to be more precise and supportive towards the parties of the appeal procedure which is one of the most important steps when concluding a patent application process. Under these new rules the parties are now more certain on what to claim and when, how they can communicate with the Board, which is the exact framework and most important why their appeal may be rejected. In a nutshell, this is a rather positive step towards a more “applicant-friendly” EPO and it will also ameliorate the quality of the Decisions of the Board itself.

2. Fees and online services retouched : Already in 2017 EPO has decided to implement a series of measures that will lower a number of costs in the patent application process and help reinforce a more business friendly-approach in support of innovation. By decision of 13 December 2017 the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organization introduced a reduced fee for appeals filed by natural persons, small and medium-sized enterprises, non-profit organizations, universities and public research organizations. This amendment will enter into force on 1 April 2018 and will apply to appeals filed on or after that date. Appellants wishing to benefit from the reduced fee for appeal must make an express declaration.

On the technical side, the EPO is pursuing an ongoing business process re-engineering effort with the goal of making its operations more efficient. This will ensure that new IT developments offer real efficiency for applicants as changes enable the fully electronic end-to-end processing of European patent applications, from filing through to opposition and appeal.

Is this good news?: Patents are often seen as a financial burden for a company or any natural person that wishes to protect his invention. Reducing the fees and generally rationalizing the fee payment procedure will urge applicants (end especially the SME’s) to fully exploit the benefits of a european patent application. Also, due to the updates of its online services software, the latest bibliographic data are available for all applicants and provide users with comprehensive portfolios, while others support the development of new, simpler and safer filing processes.

3. Focusing on Brexit: Many discussions have been brought to light lately relating to what will happen to IP rights and patents after UK leaves the European Union. As known, UK is still a member of the European Union and will continue to be so until the expiry of the notice period provided for by Article 50. European law will continue to apply to the UK. After Brexit, Regulations will cease to be applicable, as they only have effect throughout the EU of which the UK will no longer be a Member. Towards a more close

cooperation on the future of UK as a member of EPO, high-level representatives and experts of the EPO met with a delegation of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) and they reassured both patent attoreneys and UK applicants that Brexit is not a danger for uk patent applications in EPO. And this, for the very simple reason that the EPO is not an EU agency but an independent international organization, of which the UK is a founding member.

Is this good news?:The fact that UK patent rights are still “resisting” to Brexit is positive both for UK applicants but also for patentees around the world that wish to benefit from the UK’s patent lawyer expertise and use them as representatives to register for a patent in the EPO. Fact is that of the 40,000 European patent applications filed each year by the UK’s European patent attorneys, nearly 90% are for clients from overseas.

Global Top 50 – 2017

 

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