Forthcoming in An Introduction to IP and Knowledge Management, Editors A. Ramalho, A. Kamperman Sanders, C. Mulder & A. Moerland by Routledge
33 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2016
Date Written: August 30, 2016
In today's knowledge-driven economy, patents play a vital role. Not only large industrial companies use patents to protect their ideas but also small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and, increasingly, universities and other research institutes file patent applications to safeguard and exploit the results of their research.
Section 2 of the paper discusses the rationale of the patent system. Section 3 deals with the subject-matter which can be protected under the European Patent Convention together with the criteria for patent protection. Section 4 describes how a patent right can be acquired. In particular, the process from filing a European patent application to the grant of the European patent will be described. Section 5 is devoted to post-grant proceedings including opposition and appeal proceedings. Section 6 deals with the scope of protection and infringement of patent rights. Exceptions are the subject of section 7, including non-patentable subject-matter, the research exception and plant breeder's rights. Section 8 deals with unitary patent protection in Europe.
Keywords: European patents, patentable subject-matter, acquisition, post-grant proceedings, scope of protection, infringement, exceptions to patentability, unitary patent protection in Europe
JEL Classification: O3, O34
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