Programme 

Please note that the time zone for the programme is GMT+1.  

  • Download the programme (PDF, 161 KB)  
  • Moderator: Giovanni Arca, programme area manager Professional Representatives, European Patent Academy, EPO
Monday, 9 November 2020 
08.40 hrs

Introduction to the online session for new users   

08.45 hrs

Opening

Stephen Rowan, Vice-President Patent Granting Process, EPO 

Francis Leyder, President, epi 

09.00 hrs

Plenary roundtable 

SP2023: modernising the patent granting process    

Moderator:

Evangelia Spyropoulou, Director, Operations, Mobility and Mechatronics, EPO

Panelists:

Heli Pihlajamaa, Director, Patent Law, Legal Affairs, EPO 

John Beatty, Director, Patent Procedures Management, EPO

Francis Leyder, President, epi 

John Gray, Chair, Online Communications Committee, epi

10.00 hrs

Break 

10.15 hrs

Workshop with breakout sessions 

WS1-a 

Post-filing of experimental data and the burden of proof  

Eveline Lançon, examiner, EPO 

Karin Marchand, examiner, EPO

12.15 hrs

Break   

13.15 hrs

Workshop with breakout sessions 

WS2-a 

Product-by-process claims in additive manufacturing: pitfalls and remedies 

Nathalie Pierre, examiner/team manager, EPO

Valentina Morra, examiner, EPO

15.15 hrs

Break  

15.30 - 17.30 hrs

Workshop with breakout sessions 

WS3-a 

Biomaterials: How does medical use affect examination?

Heidi Van den Bulcke, examiner, EPO 

Marjorie Chopinaud, examiner/team manager, EPO

   
Tuesday, 10 November 2020
08.55 hrs

Welcome to the day

09.00 hrs

Plenary lecture 

Sufficiency of disclosure and enablement in pharmaceuticals 

Sally Collins, examiner, EPO

Miren Langer, examiner, EPO

10.00 hrs

Break

10.15 hrs

Workshop with breakout sessions                 

WS3-b 

Biomaterials: How does medical use affect examination?

Heidi Van den Bulcke, examiner, EPO 

Marjorie Chopinaud, examiner/team manager, EPO

12.15 hrs

Break 

13.15 hrs

Workshop with breakout sessions                  

WS1-b

Post-filing of experimental data and the burden of proof

Eveline Lançon, examiner, EPO

Karin Marchand, examiner, EPO

15.15 hrs

Break

15.30 - 17.30 hrs

Workshop 

WS4-a 

Borderline cases in cosmetics

Ilknur Durand-Oral, examiner, EPO

Inma Estañol, examiner, EPO

   
Wednesday, 11 November 2020 
08.55 hrs Welcome to the day
09.00 hrs

Workshop                 

WS4-b 

Borderline cases in cosmetics

Ilknur Durand-Oral, examiner, EPO

Inma Estañol, examiner, EPO

11.00 hrs

Break

11.15 - 13.15 hrs

Workshop with breakout sessions                 

WS2-b 

Product-by-process claims in additive manufacturing: pitfalls and remedies

Nathalie Pierre, examiner/team manager, EPO

Valentina Morra, examiner, EPO

Plenary roundtable

SP2023: modernising the patent granting process

 

The EPO Strategic Plan 2023 aims to simplify patent processes for users while maintaining the high standard of EPO products and services. To achieve this goal, the EPO plans to implement a number of internal measures and offer users a more flexible patent granting process. This roundtable will provide a plat form for dialogue between key players and participants on what the EPO is currently doing to simplify and streamline the process. 

Moderator:

SpyroupolouEvangelia Spyropoulou, GR, Director, Operations, Mobility and Mechatronics, EPO Munich. Has many years of experience at the EPO, first as an examiner and now as Director Operations with particular focus on talent acquisition and development. Has been involved in a number of events on European and international co-operation. Evangelia worked at the EU Commission before joining the EPO.  


Panelists:

PihlajamaaHeli Pihlajamaa, FI, Director, Patent Law, Legal Affairs, EPO Munich. Assists in the creation of EPO policy by developing, strengthening and promoting the EPC, proposing legal changes and guaranteeing compliance of operations with patent law-related norms and case law. Advises senior EPO management on policy issues and legal amendments. Before joining the EPO, she worked in both the private and public sector in Finland.


BeattyJohn Beatty, GB, Director, Patent Procedures Management, EPO Munich. Joined the EPO in 2001 as an examiner in e-commerce with a focus on computer-implemented business methods. Throughout his time as an examiner, he worked on a variety of practice and procedures projects and quality initiatives. In 2013, he was made a director in Electrical and Electronic Technology. Became Director Patent Procedures Management in 2016, where he is responsible for the maintenance and improvement of patent-grant procedures.


Francis LeyderFrancis Leyder, BE, European patent attorney. Studied analytical chemistry and obtained a PhD before joining Labofina, Research Centre of the Petrofina Group. Qualified as a European patent attorney in 1988. After a merger with the Total Group, served as head of the Patents Department at Total Research & Technology Feluy until the end of 2015. Chaired the European Patent Practice Committee of epi from 2008 to 2017. Currently President of epi.   


GrayJohn Gray, GB, UK & European patent attorney. Studied Electronics and Physics. Has 34 years' experience as patent attorney, both in-house and private practice. Chair of epi Online Communications Committee which cooperates with the EPO departments responsible for customer-facing online systems, with particular emphasis on data security and integrity, legal certainty, minimisation of accidental loss of rights, and ease of use.  

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Plenary lecture

Sufficiency of disclosure and enablement in pharmaceuticals

Field: substantive chemistry
Technical area: life sciences and chemistry

This lecture will explore issues surrounding sufficiency of disclosure in the field of pharmaceuticals and chemistry. A number of case studies will be used as the starting point for discussing the plausibility requirement and in particular whether and under which conditions an objection of insufficiency of disclosure can be overcome by submitting post-published evidence.

Considerations concerning the use of clinical trials as prior art, including when such clinical trials are considered to be enabled as well as the concept of additional technical teaching, will also be discussed.

CollinsSally Collins, GB, examiner, Team Small Peptides and Second Medical Use, Healthcare, Biotechnology and Chemistry, EPO The Hague. Studied chemistry with medicinal chemistry at Imperial College, London. Obtained a PhD in organic chemistry from the Technical University of Munich. Joined the EPO as an examiner in pharmaceuticals in 2006. Experience as first member in opposition procedures. Passed the EQE in 2013. Member of the EQE committee for Paper C. 


LangerMiren Langer, DE, examiner, Team Targeted Drugs and Chemistry, Healthcare, Biotechnology and Chemistry, EPO The Hague. Studied pharmacy at the Philipps University of Marburg, University of Paris and University of Santiago de Compostela. Obtained a PhD in pharmacology from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. Prior to joining the EPO, she worked for three years as a project manager (medical department) in the pharmaceutical industry. She is an EPO examiner in the field of second medical use and targeted drugs since 2006. Experience chairing and acting as first member in opposition proceedings. Passed the EQE in 2012.


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Workshop with breakout sessions

WS1

Post-filing of experimental data and the burden of proof

Field: substantive chemistry
Technical area: industrial chemistry

The post-filing of experimental data, at the request of the EPO or on the applicant's own initiative, is a useful tool for shifting the burden of proof in examination/opposition proceedings.

In the first part, the burden of proof will be defined.Then, we will consider various situations that may arise after objections under Articles 83, 54 or 56 EPC have been raised, such as:

  • unusual parameters
  • measurement methods of parameters
  • product-by process claims
  • closing the gap with common general knowledge
  • enabling disclosures and implicit features

In the second part, the post-filing of experimental data will be analysed at various stages of the problem-solution approach used in inventive step argumentation to show where it can be beneficial for parties.

Interactive examples will follow in which scenarios are developed, with and without additional data, to underline the requirements for successful comparative tests.

MarchandKarin Marchand, FR, examiner, Team Catalysis, EPO Munich. Holds engineering degrees from ESPCI Paris and the IFP School (ENSPM), with refining and chemical engineering as her major. Holds a master's in kinetics and catalysis and a PhD in in organic chemistry. Worked as a research engineer and project leader in the refining industry in France for ten years, designing new industrial catalysts and processes. Joined the EPO in 2010, obtained a CEIPI diploma (patents) in 2017 and passed the EQE in 2018.


LanconEveline Lançon, FR/DE, examiner, Healthcare, Biotechnology and Chemistry, EPO Munich. Member of the Opposition Directorate. Graduated in chemistry from Ludwig Maximilian University and the Technical University of Munich and has a "mastèr espécialisé" in business strategy and industrial marketing from EM Lyon Business School. Joined the EPO in 2005. Experience in opposition procedures, an expert in Asian documentation matters and a member of the Asia Patent Expert Group. Passed the EQE.


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Workshop with breakout sessions

WS2

Product-by-process claims in additive manufacturing: pitfalls and remedies

Field: substantive chemistry
Technical area: materials processing

Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is a disruptive technology enabling the production of items with various complex shapes from a wide range of different materials such as plastic, metals, ceramics and biomaterials. The applications of products made by additive manufacturing range from prosthetic implants to aerospace components. In the last five years the number of patent applications filed in this field has increased hugely, challenging patent prosecution on many aspects including clarity and product-by-process claims.

But what exactly is additive manufacturing? And what is 3D printing?

This workshop focuses on showing how Articles 84, 54and 56 EPC are applied during the examination of product-by-process claims involving additive manufacturing by:

  • explaining field-related terminology and providing information on how to avoid clarity objections owing to excessively broad claims
  • revealing how the novelty of products made by means of additive manufacturing is assessed
  • providing a list of pointers on non-obviousness

Real cases and relevant case law will be used to support the discussion and put the principles presented into practice.

MorraValentina Morra, IT, examiner, Health, Biotechnology and Chemistry, EPO The Hague. Studied chemistry at the University of Turin and completed a PhD in materials engineering at Delft University of Technology. Experience working as a researcher and project leader in the aluminium and aerospace industry. Joined the EPO in 2005 in the field of metallurgy, in particular additive manufacturing of metal objects. Chairperson in examination and opposition proceedings. Passed the EQE in 2016. Obtained the CEIPI Diploma on Patent Litigation in Europe from the University of Strasbourg in 2018.


PierreNathalie Pierre, FR, examiner, Mobility and Mechatronics, EPO The Hague. Graduated in plastic processing from the École des Mines de Douai in France. Obtained a PhD in plastic processing at Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University for plastics firm Plastic Omnium. Studied IP at CEIPI, Strasbourg. Joined the EPO in 2001 and works as a patent examiner in search, examination and opposition. Involved in several reclassification projects in the field of additive manufacturing (B29C67, B33Y and B29C64).


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Workshop with breakout sessions

WS3

Biomaterials: How does medical use affect examination?

Field: substantive chemistry
Technical area: medical technology

The field of biomaterials is growing rapidly (+800% in ten years) and covers materials from soft polymers (hydrogel, silicone) used for artificial organs and tissues to stiff materials with high mechanical strength properties (metal, ceramic, hard polymer) for orthopaedic implants, dental implants and stents, etc.

Applicants face challenges because they often draft either manufacturing claims which contain method-of-treatment steps (Article53(c) EPC) or claims relating to medical devices used in methods of treatment on the human or animal body (Articles 53(c) and 54(4), (5) EPC).

This workshop aims to:

  • give tips and suggestions on how to reformulate a claim containing method-of-treatment steps
  • explain the extent to which certain medical products could fall under the definition of a substance or composition in order to fulfil the criteria of novelty under Article 54(4), (5) EPC, i.e. the extent to which the claimed medical products are limited by their medical use

The presenters will review recent case law to highlight how to distinguish between substance/composition and medical devices.The examples will be restricted to medical devices such as stents, scaffolds for tissue engineering (for instance 3D printed scaffolds) and implants.

Van den BulckeHeidi Van den Bulcke, BE, examiner, Healthcare, Biotechnology and Chemistry, Team Biomaterials, EPO The Hague. Studied life, science and technology at the universities of Leiden and Delft, followed by biomolecular sciences at Utrecht University. Joined the EPO in 2007 in the field of biomaterials, focusing on the biocompatibility or therapeutic effect of medical devices, implants and bandages. Also involved in examination and opposition proceedings in the field of galenics.


ChopinaudMarjorie Chopinaud, FR, examiner, Healthcare, Biotechnology and Chemistry, EPO Munich. Graduated in mechanical engineering in France, Germany, the USA and Switzerland. Joined the EPO in 2002 and works as a patent examiner in the field of medical technology. Teaches and gives presentations on IP protection and the EPO patent granting process at companies, national patent offices and universities. Actively involved in the European Inventor Award.


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Workshop 

WS4

Borderlinecases in cosmetics

Field: substantive chemistry
Technical area: suitable for all technical areas

Claims directed to cosmetic uses and therapeutic uses in the field of cosmetics often overlap or are difficult to separate.

How are these cases in the field of cosmetics dealt with?

Is it possible to clearly distinguish between therapeutic and cosmetic applications for sunscreens, toothpastes, anti-ageing products and anti-microbial compositions?

This workshop will focus on the grey zone between therapeutic/non-therapeutic applications by using practical examples to provide an insight into how the EPO assesses compliance with Article 53(c) EPC in the field of cosmetics.

Durand-OralIlknur Durand-Oral, TR/FR, examiner, Team Cosmetics C, Healthcare, Biotechnology and Chemistry, EPO Munich. Studied food engineering at the Middle East Technical University, Ankara. Master's degree in organic chemistry from the Université de Haute Alsace, Mulhouse. Worked at an anti-infective research company in Basel before joining the EPO in 2008. Completed a Praktika Extern internship in 2018, with a focus on borderline cases in cosmetics for medical use indications. Instructor at the EPO Talent Academy.


EstanolInma Estañol, ES, examiner, Healthcare, Biotechnology and Chemistry and Opposition Directorate, EPO Munich. Pharmacologist, master's in food engineering and PhD in pharmacy/microbiology. Worked in R&D and as a director of quality and marketing in the food industry before joining the EPO in 1991. Active in working groups and as a CKT lecturer for harmonising the practice in borderline cases regarding second medical use in cosmetics, medical devices and food. Coach for examiners from national patent offices, national judges, patent attorneys as part of the Praktika Intern programme and newcomers to the EPO. IP expert representing the EPO in symposia and events related to the patentability of medical indications, post-granting procedures, the protection of traditional knowledge and the worldwide harmonisation of patent prosecution practices.


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