Embodiment is one of the ways in which an invention could be implemented. Embodiments are used as examples of the invention in a patent specification to support the scope of protection sought.
In order for a person to be granted a patent to an invention, they must have entitlement, i.e: they must be either the inventor, or have acquired the right to the patent from the inventor.
Whilst considering whether to proceed with filing a patent application, it is often useful to carry out an intial search on the internet to see if your idea already exists. www.espacenet.com is Europe’s network of patent databases which is accessible to the public free of charge. Patents from across the world may be searched using names and key words. Select the ‘Access espacenet’ link on the top left hand side of the web page and choose your search portal, which effectively determines the search language. Users in the UK will typically select the GB portal to search in English.
EUROPEAN UNION INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OFFICE (EUIPO)
The EUIPO is the official European Union agency responsible for managing the European Union Trade Mark (EUTM) and Registered Community Design (RCD).
EURO-PCT PATENT APPLICATION
A European patent application that stems from an international PCT application. In other words, the PCT application has entered the European regional phase to result in a Euro-PCT application.
EUROPEAN UNION DESIGN
A European Union Design (formerly a European ‘Community’ Design) is a registered design that has effect in all countries of the European Union. A registered design is used to protect the aesthetics of a product, such as the colours, contours, texture or materials. The proprietor is entitled to exclusive use of the design and any design that does not produce a different overall impression on an informed user.
EUROPEAN UNION TRADE MARK (EUTM)
A European Union Trade mark (EUTM) is a Trade Mark which has effect in all 28 states of the European Union. Formally, known as the Community Trade Mark (CTM).
EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION
A European Patent Application is a patent application that is potentially effective in all 38 contracting states of the European Patent Convention (EPC), including the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, for example. When a European patent grants, it must then undergo a process called ‘Validation’, which is where the European patent must meet any additional national requirements of the EPC contracting state, such as appointing a local patent attorney and filing a translation, depending on the translation requirements of the country in which the European patent is being validated (as determined by the London Agreement).
Evidence is anything provided in support of an assertion; for instance, an Examiner may provide prior art as evidence that a particular invention is not original and therefore unpatentable.
Examination is the written exchange between the applicant (or his/her representative) and the patent office, in which the applicant tries to convince the Examiner that a patent should be granted for their invention. This is probably the best stage of the process in which a professional patent attorney can add value to a patent application. Using an experienced patent attoney can prevent an unnecessary narrowing of the claims and retain a relatively broad scope of protection. The exchange should take into account the known prior art and must conform to certain legal requirements.
A European patent application can optionally be extended to other countries. Currently, these are: Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro.