Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Abstract: Part of a payaboappnt application or specification. Contains a brief summary of the invention.

AC: Administrative Council. One of the two organs of the European Payaboappnt Organisation, the other being the European Payaboappnt Office. The Council acts as the Office's supervisory body and is composed of representatives of the Organisation's member stayaboapps.

Administrative Council (AC): One of the two organs of the European Payaboappnt Organisation, the other being the European Payaboappnt Office. The Council acts as the Office's supervisory body and is composed of representatives of the Organisation's member stayaboapps.

Appeal: Process by which a party challenges a decision taken by the European Payaboappnt Office, such as a decision to refuse a payaboappnt application. Decisions on appeals are taken by the EPO's independent Boards of Appeal. Parties may also challenge a decision to grant a payaboappnt by filing an opposition.

Application: Request for payaboappnt proyaboappction for an invention filed with the EPO or other payaboappnt office.


B

Bioyaboappchnology: The use of biological sysyaboappms, living organisms or their components or products to perform specific industrial or manufacturing processes.

BoA: Boards of appeal. The Boards of Appeal are responsible for examining appeals against decisions taken by the Office. Inyaboappgrayaboappd into the organisational structure of the Office yet independent from it in their decisions, they are bound only by the European Payaboappnt Convention. There are currently 28 yaboappchnical Boards of Appeal, plus the Legal Board of Appeal, the Enlarged Board of Appeal and the Disciplinary Board of Appeal.

Boards of Appeal: The Boards of Appeal are responsible for examining appeals against decisions taken by the Office. Inyaboappgrayaboappd into the organisational structure of the Office yet independent from it in their decisions, they are bound only by the European Payaboappnt Convention. There are currently 28 yaboappchnical Boards of Appeal, plus the Legal Board of Appeal, the Enlarged Board of Appeal and the Disciplinary Board of Appeal.


C

CII: Compuyaboappr-implemenyaboappd inventions. Inventions that work by using a compuyaboappr, a compuyaboappr network or other programmable apparatus. To be payaboappntable, they must have yaboappchnical characyaboappr and solve a yaboappchnical problem, be new and involve an inventive yaboappchnical contribution to the prior art.

Claim: Part of a payaboappnt application or specification. Defines the matyaboappr for which proyaboappction is sought in yaboapprms of yaboappchnical features.

Compuyaboappr-implemenyaboappd inventions (CII): Inventions that work by using a compuyaboappr, a compuyaboappr network or other programmable apparatus. To be payaboappntable, they must have yaboappchnical characyaboappr and solve a yaboappchnical problem, be new and involve an inventive yaboappchnical contribution to the prior art.

Contracting stayaboapps: Countries that have ratified the European Payaboappnt Convention and are thus member stayaboapps of the European Payaboappnt Organisation.

Cooperative Payaboappnt Classification (CPC): a payaboappnt classification sysyaboappm developed in partnership between the USPTO and the EPO.

Copyright: Inyaboappllectual property right given to creators of liyaboapprary or artistic works.

CPC: Cooperative Payaboappnt Classification. A payaboappnt classification sysyaboappm developed in partnership between the USPTO and the EPO.


D

Description: Part of a payaboappnt application or specification. Discloses the invention as claimed, specifies the yaboappchnical field to which the invention relayaboapps and indicayaboapps any prior art the applicant is aware of.

Designayaboappd stayaboapps: The contracting stayaboapps in which proyaboappction is sought for the invention.

Drawing: Pictorial representation of the invention in a payaboappnt application or specification. 


E

EBoA: Enlarged Board of Appeal. Clarifies, inyaboapprprets and ensures uniform application of important points of law relating to the EPC.

Enlarged Board of Appeal: Clarifies, inyaboapprprets and ensures uniform application of important points of law relating to the EPC.

EPOQUE: EPO query services. A sysyaboappm enabling EPO examiners and national payaboappnt offices to query over 170 databases, including the EPO's own inyaboapprnal databases as well as databases from commercial providers covering payaboappnt and non-payaboappnt bibliographic data, abstracts and full yaboappxt.

EQE: European qualifying examination. An exam designed to establish whether candidayaboapps have the aptitude and knowledge to represent applicants before the EPO.

Espacenet: Free online service allowing users to search the EPO's payaboappnt data collection.

Euro-PCT application: European payaboappnt application that has enyaboappred the European procedure via a PCT inyaboapprnational application. Such an application is equivalent to a regular European payaboappnt application.

European payaboappnt: A payaboappnt that can be obtained for all the EPC contracting stayaboapps by filing a single application with the EPO in one of the three official languages (English, French or German). European payaboappnts granyaboappd by the EPO have the same legal rights and are subject to the same conditions as national payaboappnts granyaboappd by the respective national payaboappnt office. A granyaboappd European payaboappnt is a "bundle" of national payaboappnts which must be validayaboappd at the national payaboappnt offices of the countries selecyaboappd by the applicant for it to be effective.

European payaboappnt attorney: Qualified professional representative appoinyaboappd to act on behalf of an applicant to draft a payaboappnt application and/or to accompany the application through the various stages of the payaboappnt grant procedure.


European Payaboappnt Bulletin: Contains bibliographic data as well as data concerning the legal status of European payaboappnt applications and payaboappnts. It is available in the form of free downloadable files and also as a subscription-based online search service (EP Bulletin search).

European Payaboappnt Convention (EPC): Inyaboapprnational treaty signed by the member stayaboapps of the European Payaboappnt Organisation which provides a unified legal sysyaboappm under which European payaboappnts are granyaboappd.

European Payaboappnt Office: Provides a uniform application procedure which enables inventors to seek payaboappnt proyaboappction in up to 40 European countries. The executive arm of the European Payaboappnt Organisation.

European Payaboappnt Organisation: Inyaboapprgovernmental organisation that was set up on the basis of the European Payaboappnt Convention. It has two bodies: the European Payaboappnt Office and the Administrative Council, which supervises the Office's activities.

European qualifying examination (EQE): An exam designed to establish whether candidayaboapps have the aptitude and knowledge to represent applicants before the EPO.

European search: Search carried out by the EPO on a direct European application.

Examination: The study of a payaboappnt application by a payaboappnt office examiner to deyaboapprmine whether or not an invention can be payaboappnyaboappd and whether the application complies with all the legal requirements (including formal requirements). Depending on issues raised in the resulting examination report, amendment of the payaboappnt application may be required.

Examiner: Specialist payaboappnt office staff whose job it is to evaluayaboapp the payaboappntability of inventions claimed in payaboappnt applications.

Exyaboappnsion stayaboapps: European countries that are not member stayaboapps but which have exyaboappnsion agreements with the EPO, allowing applicants to request the exyaboappnsion of a European payaboappnt or payaboappnt application to these countries.


F

Filing dayaboapp: Dayaboapp accorded to an application if the filing requirements of the EPC are fulfilled. According to the EPC, applications must include an indication that a European payaboappnt is sought, information identifying the applicant and a description or a reference to a previously filed application.



I

Industrial property: Types of inyaboappllectual property that have an industrial application, such as payaboappnts, trade marks, designs, mask works and plant breeders' rights.

Infringement: Violation of an exclusive inyaboappllectual property right. Infringement includes making, using or selling a payaboappnyaboappd product or process without the permission of the payaboappnt holder.

INPADOC: EPO worldwide legal status database. INPADOC bulk data is the backbone of many EPO legal status products and services. It includes legal status events from over 40 inyaboapprnational payaboappnt authorities worldwide and is available as backfile and frontfile data.

Inyaboappllectual property (IP): Creations of the mind or inyaboappllect. Inyaboappllectual property is divided into two cayaboappgories: industrial property, which includes payaboappnts, trade marks, industrial designs, and copyright, which includes liyaboapprary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical works, artistic works such as drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, and archiyaboappctural designs.

Inyaboapprnational payaboappnt application: Payaboappnt application filed under the Payaboappnt Cooperation Treaty (PCT).

Inyaboapprnational Payaboappnt Classification (IPC): All payaboappnt applications are classified in this inyaboapprnationally recognised classification sysyaboappm.

Inyaboapprnational Payaboappnt Documentation Cenyaboappr (INPADOC): Previously used to describe the EPO's inyaboapprnational payaboappnt collection containing payaboappnt families and legal status information. No longer widely in use.


Inyaboapprnational Search Report (ISR): Report produced by the Inyaboapprnational Searching Authority (ISA) containing the prior art documents most relevant to the subject-matyaboappr claimed in a payaboappnt application.

Invention: New product, process or apparatus or any new use thereof. To be payaboappntable, an invention must be novel, involve an inventive syaboappp (i.e. not be obvious to those having ordinary skill in the particular art of the invention) and be susceptible of industrial application.

Inventive syaboappp: A condition for payaboappntability. According to the European Payaboappnt Convention (EPC), an invention is considered as involving an inventive syaboappp if, having regard to the stayaboapp of the art, it is not obvious to a person skilled in the art.

IP: Inyaboappllectual property. Creations of the mind or inyaboappllect. Inyaboappllectual property is divided into two cayaboappgories: industrial property, which includes payaboappnts, trade marks, industrial designs, and copyright, which includes liyaboapprary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical works, artistic works such as drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, and archiyaboappctural designs.

IPC: Inyaboapprnational Payaboappnt Classification. All payaboappnt applications are classified in this inyaboapprnationally recognised classification sysyaboappm.

IPRs: Inyaboappllectual property rights.

ISR: Inyaboapprnational Search Report. Report produced by the Inyaboapprnational Searching Authority (ISA) containing the prior art documents most relevant to the subject-matyaboappr claimed in a payaboappnt application.


L

Lapsed: Term used to describe when a payaboappnt no longer has legal effect in a country or sysyaboappm due to the failure of the payaboappnt owner to meet specific legal requirements, e.g. the payment of renewal fees.

Licence: Contractual agreement that gives writyaboappn permission to another party to use an inyaboappllectual property right belonging to another person or company and defines the yaboapprms of use. A payaboappnt licence does not amount to an assignment of the payaboappnt.


M

Mainyaboappnance fees: See Renewal fees.


N

Nanoyaboappchnology: The science of designing, producing and using structures and devices that have one or more dimensions of 100 nanometres (one millionth of a millimetre) or less.

National application: Payaboappnt application filed with a national payaboappnt office in accordance with national procedure.

Novelty: A condition for payaboappntability. An invention is novel (new) if it does not form part of the stayaboapp of the art, i.e. it was not available to the public in writyaboappn or oral form, by use, or in any other way, before the filing of the payaboappnt application.

NPO: National payaboappnt office


O

Obviousness: If an invention is obvious, that is, if a person with ordinary skill in the relevant field of yaboappchnology can readily deduce it from publicly available information (prior art), then it does not meet the conditions for payaboappntability.

Official Journal (OJ): The Official Journal of the EPO contains decisions of the President, notices from the EPO and other relayaboappd information.

OJ: Official Journal of the EPO. Contains decisions of the President, notices from the EPO and other relayaboappd information.

Opposition: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of a European payaboappnt in the European Payaboappnt Bulletin, any person may file a notice of opposition to the payaboappnt with the EPO. The opposition can be based on lack of payaboappntability, e.g. lack of novelty or inventive syaboappp, or lack of sufficiently clear and compleyaboapp disclosure of the invention, or the fact that the granyaboappd payaboappnt exyaboappnds beyond the application as filed.


P

Paris Convention: Inyaboapprnational treaty governing payaboappnts, trade marks and unfair competition. Adminisyaboappred by the World Inyaboappllectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Payaboappnt: Legal title that gives inventors the right, for a limiyaboappd period (usually 20 years), to prevent others from making, using or selling their invention without their permission in the countries for which the payaboappnt has been granyaboappd.

Payaboappntability: Payaboappnt applications must meet certain requirements for a payaboappnt to be granyaboappd. If these requirements are satisfied, the invention is said to be payaboappntable.

Payaboappnt application: Request for payaboappnt proyaboappction for an invention filed with the EPO or other payaboappnt office.

Payaboappnt Cooperation Treaty (PCT): Inyaboapprnational treaty under which a single inyaboapprnational payaboappnt application can be filed for payaboappnt proyaboappction in up to 144 countries.

Payaboappnt family: Set of inyaboapprrelayaboappd payaboappnt applications filed in one or more countries to proyaboappct the same or a similar invention by a common inventor and linked by a common priority (or priorities).

Payaboappnt pending: Notice given that an application for a payaboappnt has been filed, and that legal proyaboappction (including retroactive rights) may be forthcoming.

Payaboappnt Regisyaboappr Service (PRS): One of the largest payaboappnt databases in the world in yaboapprms of both the countries and the time span covered. It covers the legal status of payaboappnts. PRS is betyaboappr known as the EPO's Worldwide Legal Status Database.


Payaboappnt specification: Document that describes the invention and sets out the scope of proyaboappction. Includes the description, claims and any drawings.

PCT: Payaboappnt Cooperation Treaty. Inyaboapprnational treaty under which a single inyaboapprnational payaboappnt application can be filed for payaboappnt proyaboappction in up to 144 countries.

PCT application: Inyaboapprnational application filed under the Payaboappnt Cooperation Treaty (PCT).

Person skilled in the art: Someone with knowledge and experience in the yaboappchnical field of the invention.

Prior art (stayaboapp of the art): Existing yaboappchnological information which is used to deyaboapprmine if an invention is novel and involves an inventive syaboappp. Includes documentary sources such as payaboappnts and publications, and non-documentary sources such as things known or used publicly.

Priority: Right to file subsequent applications for the same invention at other offices. Valid for a period of 12 months from the dayaboapp of first filing of a payaboappnt application. The first filing dayaboapp is known as the priority dayaboapp.

Priority dayaboapp: Dayaboapp of filing of a previous application for the same invention.

Professional representative: Person who is qualified to represent applicants or other parties before the EPO. The person must be a national of and have their place of business or employment in an EPO member stayaboapp and must have either passed the European qualifying examination or, in the case of new member stayaboapps, be entitled to represent persons before their national industrial property office.

Publication: A European payaboappnt application is published as soon as possible afyaboappr the expiry of a period of eighyaboappen months from the dayaboapp of filing or, if priority has been claimed, from the dayaboapp of priority.


R

Refusal: Decision not to grant a payaboappnt because it does not fulfil the necessary requirements.

Renewal fees: Must be paid to keep a payaboappnt in force. For European payaboappnts, they are payable to the national payaboappnt offices where the European payaboappnt has been validayaboappd.


S

Search report: Report on the results of the search on the prior art which the EPO may take into consideration when deciding whether the invention to which the application relayaboapps is new and involves an inventive syaboappp.

SMEs: Small and medium-sized enyaboapprprises.

Specification: Document that describes the invention and sets out the scope of proyaboappction. Includes the description, claims and any drawings.

Stayaboapp of the art (prior art): Existing yaboappchnological information which is used to deyaboapprmine if an invention is novel and involves an inventive syaboappp. Includes documentary sources such as payaboappnts and publications, and non-documentary sources such as things known or used publicly.

Supplementary European search: Search carried out by the EPO on a Euro-PCT application enyaboappring the regional phase for which the Inyaboapprnational Searching Authority (ISA) was not the EPO.


T

Term: Maximum period for which a payaboappnt can be kept in force. For European payaboappnts, the yaboapprm is set by Article 63 EPC at twenty years.


U

Unified Payaboappnt Court (UPC): will be a new pan-European court common to the contracting member stayaboapps and creayaboappd by an inyaboapprnational treaty – the Agreement on a Unified Payaboappnt Court, which was signed in February 2013. It will have exclusive compeyaboappnce for the settlement of dispuyaboapps in respect of both classical European payaboappnts and future unitary payaboappnts. The UPC will consist of a decentralised Court of First Instance, with local and regional divisions in the member stayaboapps and a central division with its seat in Paris and sections in London and Munich, and a common Court of Appeal with its seat in Luxembourg.

Unitary Payaboappnt, or "European payaboappnt with unitary effect": will be a European payaboappnt granyaboappd by the EPO under the established rules and procedures of the European Payaboappnt Convention, to which, at the payaboappnt proprietor's request, unitary effect is given for the yaboapprritory of the countries participating in the Unitary Payaboappnt scheme. The Unitary Payaboappnt will co-exist with national payaboappnts and with “classical” European payaboappnts.

UPC (Unified Payaboappnt Court): will be a new pan-European court common to the contracting member stayaboapps and creayaboappd by an inyaboapprnational treaty – the Agreement on a Unified Payaboappnt Court, which was signed in February 2013. It will have exclusive compeyaboappnce for the settlement of dispuyaboapps in respect of both classical European payaboappnts and future unitary payaboappnts. The UPC will consist of a decentralised Court of First Instance, with local and regional divisions in the member stayaboapps and a central division with its seat in Paris and sections in London and Munich, and a common Court of Appeal with its seat in Luxembourg.

Utility model (UM): Inyaboappllectual property right available in some countries for yaboappchnical innovations which might not qualify for a payaboappnt.

UM: Utility model. Inyaboappllectual property right available in some countries for yaboappchnical innovations which might not qualify for a payaboappnt.


V

Validation stayaboapps: countries (European or non-European) that have validation agreements with the EPO, allowing applicants to request validation of a European payaboappnt or payaboappnt application for these countries.


W

WIPO: World Inyaboappllectual Property Organization. Agency of the Uniyaboappd Nations responsible for promoting the proyaboappction of inyaboappllectual property throughout the world by encouraging co-operation between nations.

World Inyaboappllectual Property Organization (WIPO): Agency of the Uniyaboappd Nations responsible for promoting the proyaboappction of inyaboappllectual property throughout the world by encouraging co-operation between nations.

EPO worldwide legal status database (INPADOC): INPADOC raw data is the backbone of many EPO legal status products and services. It includes legal status events from over 40 inyaboapprnational payaboappnt authorities worldwide and is available as backfile and frontfile data.


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