Programme and abstracts

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Tuesday, 6 November 2018
8.00 - 9.00 hrs

Registration

Plenary sessions
9.00 - 9.10 hrs

Welcome address
Keisuke Watanabe, President, JPAA
Niclas Morey, Principal Director User Support and Quality Management, EPO

9.10 - 9.45 hrs

The EPO approach to computer-implemented inventions (CII)
Christian Platzer, Director ICT, EPO

9.45 - 10.15 hrs

Boards of Appeal: key decisions and practice
Ingo Beckedorf , Chairman of Technical Board of Appeal 3.2.07 – Mechanics, EPO

10.15 - 10.30 hrs

Coffee Break

10.30 - 11.00 hrs

EPO’s Guidelines 2018: what’s new in ICT
Eve-Marie Mayer-Martin, Director Healthcare, Biotechnology and Chemistry, EPO

11.00 – 11.30 hrs 

How does the EPO deal with the challenges of AI in patents?  
Christian Platzer, Director ICT, EPO

11.30 – 11.45 hrs 

The EPO’s outreach programme including Praktika Extern  
Niclas Morey, Principal Director User Support and Quality Management, EPO

11.45 - 12.45 hrs 

Lunch 

Break-out sessions
There will be two workshops which will each be held twice in order to give seminar attendees the opportunity to attend both of them. Each workshop will be chaired by an EPO director and a European patent attorney with knowledge and experience of both the European and the Japanese systems. Sufficient time will be allocated for questions and answers.
12.45 - 14.30 hrs

Workshops (round 1)

Workshop 1: Patenting inventions in healthcare and life sciences: typical issues with Japanese applications and how to remedy them
Nick Wallin, European Patent Attorney, Withers & Rogers LLP, UK
Eve-Marie Mayer-Martin, Director Healthcare, Biotechnology and Chemistry, EPO


Workshop 2: Human-computer interfaces: typical issues with Japanese applications and how to remedy them
George Whitten, European Patent Attorney, UK
Christian Platzer, Director ICT, EPO

14.30 - 14.45 hrs

Coffee break

14.45 - 16.30 hrs

Workshops (round 2)

17.30 - 19.00 hrs

Cocktail reception hosted by the JPAA and the EPO

Workshop abstracts

Workshop 1

Patenting inventions in healthcare and life sciences: typical issues with Japanese applications and how to remedy them

Computer-implemented inventions (CII) are becoming more and more prevalent in all technical fields, including healthcare and life sciences. Yet it is still not widely known that patents can be granted for such inventions at the EPO. The EPO has developed a stable and reliable approach to examining CII that provides applicants with a high degree of predictability. Applicants also remain largely unfamiliar with the scope of the legal provision excluding methods of treatment and diagnosis from patentability, the limits to which have recently been clarified in the EPO Guidelines for Examination.

In this workshop you will learn how the EPO examines CII. It will focus on how you can increase your chances of getting a patent for claims comprising algorithmic/mathematical steps or features relating to presentation of information. You will also learn more about the exception to patentability for methods of treatment and diagnosis and be given advice on how to avoid objections under the applicable legal provision. Examples from the fields of healthcare and life sciences will deepen your understanding of the decisive ingredients for a successful application in these fields.

Workshop 2

Human-computer interfaces: typical issues with Japanese applications and how to remedy them

There is high demand for patent protection of inventions relating to data visualisation and user interfaces in a wide variety of technical fields, including computer applications, smartphones, automotive user interfaces and measurement devices. But what kind of contribution over and above the prior art do these inventions need to make to be patentable, in particular given the EPO's approach to computer -implemented inventions? A key issue here is what aspects of the contribution qualify as "technical", as only these aspects can support the presence of inventive step.

We will look at the problem-solution approach applied at the EPO, and more specifically how it is used for applications containing a mixture of technical and non technical features. We will then turn our attention to some decisions of the boards of appeal, focusing on applications that deal with the presentation of information and human-computer interfaces.

The EPO's practice as set out in its Guidelines for Examination will be explained for this particular technical area. The emphasis will be on improving the participants' feel for what is patentable so that they can take this into account when drafting claims that are likely to be acceptable to the EPO.

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