Author Archives: Michael Downing

The Patent Box

The “Patent Box” is an initiative by the UK Government aimed at increasing innovation by UK companies.  Qualify for the Patent Box, and (generally speaking) the profits of the business that flow from its patented products are taxed at a … Continue reading

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Small Entity Fees

These are a concession made to impecunious applicants by the US and Canadian Patent Offices.  You declare to them that you are “small”, and in return for that they only charge you half fees.  So, a great deal, then? No, … Continue reading

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What can I say about my invention before filing?

Ideally, nothing. Sometimes that isn’t commercially possible, though.  If you absolutely need to tell people about the invention and an application still isn’t filed, then make sure that those who receive the information are all under a strict duty of … Continue reading

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What is the deadline for Appeal in a Community Design?

Chris Hall and I have been involved in a design invalidation case before OHIM.  The other side (the design proprietor) have had their appeal deemed inadmissible in a decision which (if it is followed in future) will affect how time … Continue reading

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When is software patentable?

A common question. There are three basic hurdles to clear in order for an idea to be patentable. It must be: within an area of technology in which patents are permitted, new (i.e. different to that which was previously known) … Continue reading

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Where should I patent my idea?

This is a really difficult question, and a very important one.  On the one hand, if you miss a country out then you may lose that chance forever.  On the other hand, if you choose too many then the costs … Continue reading

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Ten ways to get better value out of your Patent Attorney

Using a patent attorney is expensive. That’s not surprising; we’re highly qualified, and (most of us are) good at what we do.  What is surprising is just how many of our clients increase their bill unnecessarily.  By “unnecessarily”, I mean … Continue reading

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Unofficial Registers

This is one of the few scams that operate in the IP world. If your trade mark application has been accepted, or your patent application has reached the ripe old age of 18 months, then it will be published by … Continue reading

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How do I calculate a time limit in a European patent application?

This is a tricky one, as it depends on the type of time limit that has been set. The deadlines for paying most official fees are set with reference to the European Patent Convention. For example, the filing and search … Continue reading

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How do I extend time limits at the EPO?

There are two mechanisms for extending time limits at the EPO. The first is to request an extension prior to expiry of the deadline. These extensions do not require payment of official fees, but are discretionary and only apply to certain time … Continue reading

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