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Saturday, 16 February 2008

EPC 2000: if you liked the Convention, you'll love the book ...

The IPKat expresses his pleasure on getting hold of a copy of A Guide to the EPC 2000. This convenient guide, written by Nicholas Fox of patent attorneys Beresford & Co and published by the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, is described as aiming to help practitioners find their way around the new law--a slightly strange premise since this upgraded and amended version of the European Patent Convention has been in our consciousness since the end of the last century. However, its implementation and coming into force arrived with flurry of activity that coincided with the London Agreement (also featured in this volume) and Nicholas Fox's book performs a valuable service in helping its readers find what they already know, check what they don't know and pinpoint what they ought to know.

The meat of the book is an extensively annotated and cross-referenced copy of the revised Convention and Implementing Regulations, as well as the Rules Relating to Fees, the Protocol on Jurisdiction and the London Agreement. Articles and their most relevant rules are printed together to enable them to be read in context. Practical commentaries -- neatly boxed so you won't mistake them for the provisions themselves -- highlight the major changes, illustrating how the articles and rules interact in practice. According to the blurb:

"The EPC 2000 is the first major revision of the European Patent Convention in over 30 years. It brings with it important new provisions for post-grant limitation and judicial review of Board of Appeal decisions. It also imports many minor revisions to the detailed procedures for obtaining and maintaining European patents. These include the liberalisation of the minimum requirements for obtaining a filing date, changes to the EPO language regime and the extension of the scope of further processing under Article 121 and re-establishment of rights under Article 122. Many procedural provisions have also been transferred from the EPC into the Implementing Regulations, which have been re-numbered".

Bibliographical details: hardback, xiii + 238 pages. Price £25 + postage and packaging (there is a further 10% discount if you're a CIPA member). ISBN 978-0-9039322-6-4. Rupture factor: low.

Click here to order. For extracts from the book and further details, click here.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

While I don't want to belittle the effort Mr Fox clearly put into his book (it is currently gathering dust on my bookshelf), much the same information is available from the EPO online for free.

http://www.european-patent-office.org/epo/pubs/oj007/08_07/special_edition_4_epc_2000_synoptic.pdf

and

http://www.european-patent-office.org/epo/pubs/oj007/12_07/special_edition_5_epc_2000_regulations.pdf

being particularly useful consolidations of the changes to the EPC and its rules together with the discussions that led to those changes.

Also, I wouldn't trust a book that was published last year to have up to date info on the London Agreement so, again, would use the free resource provided by the EPO.

http://www.epo.org/patents/law/legislative-initiatives/london-agreement/key-points.html

I would add that I only recommend these resources since, having done plenty of leg work myself on EPC2000 and the London Agreement, I found them to be accurate and extremely useful. Shame they weren't published BEFORE I did all that leg work, but then I probably wouldn't know enough to know them to be trustworthy.

Gerontius

Nicholas Fox said...

I read the above discussion with interest, and am glad that many are finding my book a helpful resource.

The EPC 2000 and the revised rules are indeed available on-line via the EPO website. However, the on-line versions do not cross-reference the articles and rules in a way that enables practitioners to find relevant rules quickly and easily. Helping practitioners to navigate the new law confidently is the aim of my book.

This is nicely illustrated by the section of the book dealing with further processing, which can be viewed on-line at http://www.epc2000guide.com/Article121_EPC2000.pdf

Whilst every practitioner knows that Article 121 deals with further processing, the book gathers together the article and its associated new rule. The marginal annotations then provide an instant explanation of the cross-references appearing in the EPC. In the case of rule 135(2), this means that rather than being faced with an incomprehensible list of rules to which further processing does not apply, the reader is given a concise explanation which enables him or her to determine whether the rules are relevant to the enquiry at hand.

As for the London Agreement, this is discussed in full in the commentary on Article 65 appearing on page 43 of the book. The commentary covers both the current law and how the law will change when the agreement comes into force.

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