DSM not intended to
weaken copyright, says Oettinger
Some stakeholders have
raised concerns (see our article here)
over the European Commission’s Digital Single Market (DSM) strategy, one of
which is that it will lead to a “weaker
copyright” protection regime in Europe. At the Frankfurt
Book Fair last week the European Commissioner Günther Oettinger said this
is not the Commission’s intention; rather the aim is to ensure copyright rules
are fit for the digital age. “The creation of a Digital Single Market does not
mean that the European Commission is aiming at weakening copyright,” the
He further explained that the Commission’s use of the term
‘copyright modernisation’ (or ‘modifying copyright’, depending on the text you
read) recognises the need to incentivise rights holders to invest in and/or
create copyright-protected works and the partial harmonisation of copyright
rules in Europe, but emphasised that the reforms will be targeted and based on
certain key principles.
“We do not want to overhaul the complete system. We
want clear, fair and reliable conditions for right owners and for users,” he
said. Oettinger also said that proposals for reform will be presented by early
2016. You can read the Commissioner’s speech in full here.
Consultation on UK
patent box reform now underway
The UK HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and HM Treasury launched a public consultation on the reform of the UK’s patent box regime.
This swift action comes after G20
Finance Ministers endorsed the OECD’s recommendations on tackling corporate
tax loopholes, one of which is said to include preferential tax regimes for IP.
HMRC and HM Treasury would particularly like to hear
from companies, especially patent owners (and their representatives), with
an interest in the UK patent box. The consultation will close on December 4 2015. Draft legislation is expected this December.
Ireland’s own patent
box going for 6.25%
Our sister publication International
Tax Review reports that Ireland is also working on its own preferential tax
regime for IP so as to comply with the OECD’s recommendations. The Irish
government will introduce a regime called the ‘Knowledge Development Box’
(KDB). According to the Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan the KDB tax rate
will be 6.25%, which is half its corporate tax rate. For more details on the
KDB see here.
car’ to be powered by Saab
The Turkish government’s ambition to have a national car is
close to becoming a reality. We understand an agreement has
been reached between TÜBİTAK (the
Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) and National Electric Vehicle
Sweden (NEVS), owner of Saab, to develop and build the Saab 9-3 saloon model in
The terms of the agreement are unclear,
though Turkey’s Science, Industry and Technology Minister Fikri Işık was
reported to have said: “We bought the Saab 9-3’s intellectual property
rights, but not its name.” NEVS’ press release
(using the term ‘industrial partner’), however, makes one think this may well
be a joint venture with an IP licensing agreement. Anyway, the eventual car
will have a Turkish brand name. A Saab
fan site is also trying to make sense of the IP aspects of the deal.
WIPO budget approved,
and external offices in Africa likely
Member states of WIPO have approved the Office’s programme and budget for 2016/17. WIPO’s projected expenditure over this two-year
period is Sfr707 million ($740m), a 5% increase
over the last biennium, and its income is also expected to increase to Sfr756.3
The US is a vocal
opponent of the new Geneva Act, and a few
months ago threatened not to approve the budget. It does
not want to see funds from other WIPO treaties used to finance the Lisbon
System. Member states have now agreed that the Lisbon System must be
financially sustainable, and will
work towards clearing its deficit in 2016/17. Other developments include amendments to
Regulations and Common
Regulations under the Madrid Agreement.
There was also agreement that WIPO should prioritise Africa when
considering four external offices planned between 2016 and 2019. A summary of
terms agreed and progress made on other issues can be found here,
and webcast of the sessions are here.
Moldova to become an
EPO validation state
The validation agreement between the European Patent
Organisation and the Republic of Moldova will enter
into force on November 1 2015. From this date European patent applications
and patents can be validated in Moldova. A validation fee of €200 has
been set. This development would see Moldova join Morocco
as the second non-contracting state of the European Patent Convention in
which European patents can be validated.
PCT-EPO guidelines will
soon enter into force
The EPO has published its guidelines
on search and examination as a PCT Authority. These are intended to guide
examiners and formalities officers, and indeed applicants, on the practice and
procedures to be followed by the EPO when it is acting as an International
Searching Authority and International Preliminary Examining Authority. The
guidelines, which will enter into force on November 1 2015, complement the Euro-PCT
guide and the WIPO
International Search and Preliminary Examination guidelines, Receiving
Office guidelines and the PCT
EPO and IP Australia
hit the highway
The EPO has signed a MoU with
the IP Australia which will, among
other things, bring about the establishment of a patent prosecution highway
(PPH) pilot programme between the two offices.
“[U]nder the PPH, applicants whose claims have been examined
by the EPO or IP Australia may ask for accelerated processing of their
corresponding application at the other office, while the Offices will share
existing work results, speeding up the process and reducing costs for
applicants,” the EPO said in its press release.
EPO and USPTO renew
Patent Classification (CPC) is a joint scheme initiated following an MoU in
2010 between the EPO and the USPTO. The scheme seeks to harmonise the patent
classification systems of both offices in order to improve patent searching
process. According to a press release
by the EPO, both offices have now signed another MoU to renew their commitment
to this scheme.
The EPO president, Benoît Battistelli, said: “With 19 patent
offices around the world, including China and Korea, having already committed
to the CPC, this joint project has been an overwhelming success since its
official launch on 1 January 2013. It is a milestone in assuring a continued
high quality in the patent system.” The EPO’s MOU with IP Australia will also
see both offices cooperate in the CPC scheme.