Learning Path 1

Getting to know patents

Among the main intellectual property (IP) rights, patents are of considerable importance as they protect solutions to technical problems of various kinds. But what is exactly a patent, and what can you expect  from obtaining one? What are the requirements you need to comply with and how does the EPO go about assessing the patent applications received?

You will get the answers to all of these questions in this learning path.

  • 1

    Introduction to the European patent system

    This self-paced course offers a basic introduction on:

    • what a patent really implies including its value, content, structure, scope, advantages and alternatives
    • what cannot be patented
    • patents’ stakeholders and different prosecutions procedures
    • the patentability criteria comprising requirements to inventions and applications

  • In the previous course you became familiar with patents, its stakeholders and legal implications. In this course we will introduce the substantial and legal requirements any application and invention need to comply with. Whereas  clarityunity and sufficiency of disclosure constitute the application’s requirements, noveltyinventive step and industrial applicability affect inventions.

    Understanding how each of these concepts is defined, why they are so important and how they are interrelated can help you conceive your invention and formulate your application in a more efficient way.

  • 2

    Patentability requirements at the EPO

    In this self-paced course you will gain a better understanding of:

    • the legal aspects involved in the patent prosecution system
    • the patentability requirements for inventions namely noveltyinventive step and industrial applicability as well the restrictions and exclusions on patentability of certain subject-matter (according to the European Patent Convention)
    • the patentability requirements for applications namely claritysufficiency of disclosure and unity

  • In the previous course you became familiar with the patentability requirements any application and invention must comply with. This course goes a step further and explains how the EPO’s patent examiners first need to understand the invention as featured in the application received to be able to start a significant search. They will then put the invention in context by comparing it to what is already known and apply the methodology that will enable them to evaluate whether each of the patentability requirements are fully, partially or not at all met.

    This information is very important for applicants because it shows the invention stands and puts them in a better position to decide how to best proceed.

  • 3

    Assessing patentability requirements at the EPO

    In this self-paced course you will gain a better understanding of:

    • the importance of the patentability requirements which serve as starting point to understand and evaluate your application and invention
    • the methodology used by the EPO’s patent examiners to evaluate whether the patentability requirements are met
    • the different scenarios in which an invention and/or application may fail to meet the set requirements and a reasoning thereof
    • a brief overview on the type of information the patent examiner will provide you with whenever objections are raised 

    This course does not cover:

    • your options to remedy the deficiencies noted
    • the legal and procedural consequences of failing to meet the application requirements 

    These issues are thoroughly covered in the course Search and written opinions.