GLOSSARY (O)

OBSERVATIONS

If you are aware that a third party has a pending patent application in the UK and you have grounds for preventing the application from granting, it is possible to file “observations” which the Patent Examiner will take into consideration.

OFFICE ACTION

An “Office action” is a term used by the US Patent Office and also in some other countries to refer to what would be called an examination report in the UK and Europe.

OHIM (NOW KNOWN AS EUIPO)

OHIM stands for the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market. This is the old name for the EU Intellectual Property Office. Its offices are based in Alicante, Spain and it is the official trade mark and designs office of the European Union. EU Trademarks (EUTMs) and EU Registered Designs (EURDs) are registered at the EUIPO and provide protection across all member states of the European Union.

OPPOSITION

There is a 9 month period following the grant date of a European Patent in which 3rd parties may officially object to the granted patent. If successful, this leads to the European patent being cancelled or nullified. There are only limited grounds for Opposition and these are set down in law.

OWNERSHIP

The default arrangement in the UK is that the inventor is the first owner of an invention. However, when the inventor is an employee and the invention was made during the course of employment, then the invention may belong to the employee. However, this very much depends on the invention and the circumstances surrounding its creation.