News & Resources


January 2017 bulletin

EPO practice

  • On 1 November 2016, the EPO introduced new arrangements for managing deposit accounts, the main features of which include the partial revocation and debiting of debit orders at the EPO, and next day visibility of deposit account replenishments. The EPO officially allows partial revocation so long as each fee or expense concerned is specified. A summary of each of the main changes can be found here: and
  • As of 1 January 2017, Belgium acceded to the London Agreement. This means it is no longer necessary to file a translation into a Belgian national language of the specification of a European patent granted in English on or after 1 January 2017. Please note that Dutch, French and German translations continue to be accepted. For more information, please see:
  • The EPO has updated its Internal Guidance to Examiners and now allows subject matter relating to human embryonic stem cells with an effective filing date of 5 June 2003 or later to be considered for patentability. Following decision C-364/13, these updates replace the previous examination guidelines that excluded such subject matter from patentability under Art. 53(a) EPC. A detailed analysis is provided in the CIPA Journal, December 2016 ed., pp. 24-25.
  • Proceedings before the EPO in which the decision depends entirely on the patentability of a plant or animal obtained by an essentially biological process under the Biotech Directive 98/44/EC are being stayed ex officio. This is because the patentability of such plants or animals is currently under discussion with the EPO representatives, following a notice detailing the Commission’s view that such plants or animals are not patentable. For more information, please see:
  • Proceedings before the EPO in which the decision depends entirely on the outcome of the pending referral of G 1/16 to the EBA are being stayed ex officio. The points of law being referred concern the allowability of introducing undisclosed disclaimers into the claims. For more information, please see: A detailed analysis of the implications of G 1/16 can be found here:

International patent practice

International trade mark practice

UK IP practice

  • Jo Johnson has been appointed to succeed Baroness Neville-Rolfe as the new minister for intellectual property.


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