Biotech patenting in Europe - a seminar by experts from the European Patent Office Summary:

The European Patent Office grants patents for the 38 contracting states of the European Patent Convention covering a market of 600 million people. It will soon be possible to reduce the costs of a European patent after grant by requesting “unitary effect” across 25 EU member states. Any litigation involving this supranational patent will be at a Unified Patent Court using a centralised procedure.

The EPO is the world’s most popular searching authority under the PCT procedure and places great importance on meeting PCT users’ expectations with regard to quality and timeliness. Thanks to fruitful collaboration with other patent offices, EPO examiners now have one-click access to the work done by their colleagues at the USPTO, SIPO, KIPO and JPO (with automatic translations) - a public version called “the Global Dossier” already covers EPO and SIPO patent filings, and is to grow over the coming years. It is now possible for an EPO examiner to classify and retrieve technical information in patent applications (even when they are in Japanese!).

Using a real case, we will demonstrate the tools developed in-house for searching of 1) DNA/protein sequences, 2) fulltext of patent and scientific literature 3) non-Boolean searching.

We will also explain the principles of patenting second medical uses and personalised medicine. These claim formats are specific to biotech in Europe and have no equivalents in the US.

The presentations will be given by:

  • Dr Athanassios-Andreas Stamatopoulos Principal director of Biotechnology, Pharmacy and organic chemistry, leading over 200 examiners in Biotechnology and around 300 examiners in Pure & Applied Organic Chemistry.

  • Dr Ulrich Thiele Director of a unit in the Biotechnology cluster leading a group of 30 examiners in the field of protein based and nucleic acid based analysis.

  • Dr Matthias Ulbrecht Senior examiner in nucleic acid diagnostics and immunology. Matthias has exert knowledge on patenting of patents relating to personalized medicine and has established the principles for harmonized examination of such cases.

  • Dr Fredrik Åslund Senior examiner in nucleic acid diagnostics and genetic engineering. Fredrik has worked with Matthias on writing up guidelines for the handling of SNP related cases. Fredrik is also the Biotech co-ordinator for presentations of EPO at trade fairs such as Biopharma Asia 2015.

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