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The best-known medicine in the world: Aspirin

At the end of the 19th century, a young researcher from Bayer made one the most significant discoveries ever – the painkiller Aspirin. It was valuable for his employer, and also for his father who suffered from rheumatism. It led to a worldwide success! Continue reading

Potentially new opportunities for patents in the United States

In the USA, one of the requirements against which the conclusions of a patent application can be tested is whether it contains a matter that is eligible for patenting. Continue reading

Silver ranking by Financial Times

In the list of Europe's Leading Patent Law Firms 2019, drawn up by the Financial Times, V.O. has been ranked silver in the category Mechanical Engineering. Continue reading

New on Kluwer Patent Blog: Eli Lilly and Company vs. Fresenius Kabi Nederland B.V., Netherlands

By Bart van Wezenbeek. The scope of a patent is to be interpreted according to Art. 69 EPC and the Protocol. If the literal text is limiting, the question is how the skilled person would understand this limitation. Continue reading

New on Kluwer Patent Blog: HE Licenties B.V. vs VG Colours B.V., Netherlands

By Bart van Wezenbeek. A patent that is limited during the course of the proceedings (even after the pleadings) is held to have been so limited ab initio if the limitation is duly registered. Continue reading

Demand for patent protection continues to grow in Europe

The 2018 annual report of the European Patent Office (EPO) shows a 4.6% increase in the number of European patent applications, reaching 174,000 applications. Continue reading

New on Kluwer Patent Blog: Accord Healthcare Ltd. vs. Shire-NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc., Netherlands

By Bart van Wezenbeek. The Court held that a selection invention is inventive if the compound of the selection offers surprisingly advantageous or improved properties over the prior art compounds. Continue reading

New on Kluwer Patent Blog: Mobile Sanitary Solutions B.V. vs. TWT Verhuur B.V., Netherlands

By Bart van Wezenbeek. Although at first instance the patent was found to lack inventive step without using the problem-and-solution approach, the use of the PSA by the Court of Appeal did not make a difference to the outcome in the present case. Continue reading

Food fight: ‘BIG MAC’ EU trademark (provisionally) revoked

The European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) recently revoked the ‘BIG MAC’ EU trademark of fast-food chain, McDonald’s. According to the EUIPO, the name of the hamburger that is known across the world was not sufficiently demonstrated to be used in the European Union. At first glance, it appears an unusual decision. Continue reading

New on Kluwer Patent Blog: AcelorMittal France vs. Tata Steel IJmuiden B.V., Netherlands

By Bart van Wezenbeek. The Court held that the CJEU decision in the Bericarp case, where it was decided that for invalidity procedures no reimbursement of full litigation costs applies, did apply to invalidity proceedings if these did not contain an enforcement procedure. Continue reading

Column - Intellectual property in the interest of patients

Deploying artificial intelligence to identify the risks of heart conditions even earlier. Using nano-techniques, medicines can be administered exactly where they are needed, while the patient is still lying in the ambulance. Continue reading

V.O Promotions

Annemie Jaeken (Leuven office) and Huub Maas (Utrecht office) have been appointed as partners, and Marlon Blood (Munich office), Martin Klok (The Hague office) and Rutger Timmer (Eindhoven office) are now Senior Associates. Continue reading

Winner of MIP Award and WTR1000 recommendation

V.O is once again the proud winner of the 2019 Netherlands Firm of the Year Award conferred by Managing Intellectual Property. Continue reading

V.O. organises European Patent Seminar in Munich

Our firm is once again organising another European Patent Seminar in Munich between 23 and 25 September. Continue reading

New on Kluwer Patent Blog: G.D. Searle v. Sandoz B.V., Netherlands

By Bart van Wezenbeek. The Court concluded that the compound darunavir was not protected by a patent within the sense of Art. 3 of the SPC directive because, following the CJEU decision in Teva v Gilead, it is necessary that the compound for which the SPC is granted can be specifically identified in the patent. Continue reading

V.O. supports students through innovation competitions

The universities of Delft, Eindhoven, Twente and Wageningen have joined one another in setting up innovation competitions. Continue reading

The lightbulb

The lightbulb is the symbol of invention. In part this is due to the metaphor of a light switching on, but also because of the far-reaching consequences of the invention of the first commercially useable lightbulbs and the fierce patent war that ensued. Continue reading

HEMA faces claim by Levi’s over stitching

Denim giant Levi’s recently won a court case in Belgium against the well-known department store HEMA about the shape of the stitches on the rear of its jeans. Continue reading

The impact of Brexit on IP rights

It seems that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union on 12 April, with or without a deal. Postponement, if any, is only possible if the British Parliament has as yet agreed to the so-called Withdrawal Agreement drawn up by Prime Minister Theresa May and the EU. Continue reading

Supplier must warn of potential patent infringement in another country

Imagine that you sell a product that does not fall under the Netherlands’ patent protection to a customer, but your customer then exports the product to Germany where it is protected by a patent. How does this affect your liability? Continue reading

Column - Innovation with space technology

Imagine having access to all the technology and knowledge of a non-commercially motivated R&D lab and more than 2500 experts based in the Netherlands who are active across Europe in a number of technological sectors. Continue reading

Innovative market leader relies on IP

Atlas Copco exudes innovation. Research is paramount, as this is the only way they can remain the market leader in the world of compressor technology. Ewan Van Minnebruggen leads a strong IP team: ‘IP is always at the back of engineers’ minds here.’ Continue reading

Patent advice on campus in Groningen

Would you like to quickly ask a patent attorney from V.O. about the possibilities for a patent application? You can do this on more and more campuses and knowledge institutions through the V.O. initiative “Meet the Expert”. Continue reading

V.O. employees follow AED course

V.O. is the sponsor of the Dutch Heart Foundation (Hartstichting) that stimulates active scientific research into solutions for heart and vascular diseases. As part of the sponsorship agreements, employees from V.O. were able to follow a resuscitation course provided by the Red Cross. Continue reading

V.O. and Clariant jointly organise Nagoya seminar

On 26 October, the seminar ‘Nagoya Protocol – implications and consequences of using genetic resources’ was on the agenda. This event was jointly organised by the V.O. offices in Munich and Clariant, a Swiss chemicals concern that operates worldwide. Continue reading

IP Academy well attended

This year’s IP Academy was scheduled between 1 and 15 November and saw broad participation from all sectors of our Dutch client database. Continue reading

Plants can be patentable after all

Classically bred plants should be held patentable once again. Last Wednesday the EPO Board of Appeal came to this remarkable decision. On July 1st last year the EPO – on explicit advice by the European member states – introduced guidelines that seemed to definitely exclude plants obtained by an essentially biological process from patentability. But it was not so definite after all, so it appeared this week. Continue reading

The Ocean Cleanup at work

After an extensive trial phase with a U-shaped tube system, The Ocean Cleanup has finally begun to sweep the ocean clean, under the charismatic leadership of Boyan Slat. This all took place under an intense media spotlight. Continue reading

Up to 1 January 2019: 3 trademark applications for the price of 1

Starting 1 January 2019, the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP) will introduce fee adjustments for trademark registrations. Continue reading

Patents granted for The Ocean Cleanup

On 14 and 15 November the first two Dutch national patents were granted for The Ocean Cleanup system that allows plastic to be collected in the ocean. The corresponding international patent application has also been published. The innovative aspect of this system lies in the way in which the system brings the plastic together; it makes use of natural forces: wind, waves and sea current. Therefore it can efficiently collect the plastic without an external energy source. Continue reading

Childhood dream comes true in the circular economy

They met at Nedstaal and now the three of them are busy getting a revolutionary business off the ground. Purified Metal Company (PMC) in Delfzijl will soon clean contaminated scrap for reuse. Director Jan Henk Wijma: “This is a childhood dream. It began on a sheet of A4 and now we’ve almost come so far that we’re about to build a factory.” Continue reading

Are the symbols ® and ™ symbol politics or are they relevant?

Businesses wanting to sell their own brands on the market often use the symbols ® and ™. We are often not aware of the implications of these symbols, but they are used to give a brand an allure.  Rather, case law shows that the use of these symbols can have significant, important consequences. Continue reading

No happy ending for a pharmaceutical company in a case involving a Native American tribe

In the case known as Mohawk tribe versus Mylan, the US Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that patent holders cannot shield themselves from an “inter partes review” of a patent by assigning that patent to a Native American tribe. Ironically enough, this is due to the fact that the decision handed down by the Court stated that the “inter partes review” procedure in the principal action is not “inter partes” (“between parties”). Continue reading

Does the new law for the protection of trade secrets offer sufficient protection?

On 9 June, the new law for the protection of trade secrets came into force (based on European Directive 2016/943/EU). On the basis of the law, it is possible to take action against the illegal acquisition, use and disclosure of trade secrets. If a trade secret is misused, the holder can bring various actions based on the law. Continue reading

The consequences of the Nagoya Protocol

The Nagoya Protocol is highly relevant for the Dutch seed culture sector. But the content of the protocol is far from easy to understand. V.O. summarises the main provisions for you and the most important consequences. Continue reading

V.O. supports Hartstichting

V.O. has become sponsor of the Hartstichting, the non-profit organisation that raises funds in the battle against cardiovascular disease. Annually, the Hartstichting invests millions of euros in scientific research. The collaboration focuses primarily on advice and information relating to intellectual property law, and making agreements in this regard with researchers. Continue reading

V.O. sponsors innovation competition

V.O. has recently started to sponsor the Amsterdam Science & Innovation Award (AMSIA). AMSIA is an annual innovation competition organised by IXA, that focuses in particular on the societal or commercial impact of submissions. Awards go to the best applicable submission resulting from research conducted in Amsterdam. Continue reading

IP Academy starts again

After a well-attended edition at the beginning of the year, a brand new version of the IP Academy will again be held this autumn. IP Academy is the name under which V.O. annually organises IP courses for clients. Every course consists of two parts, each of one full day. Continue reading

Column - The ultimate profession

Chemistry! It seems so long ago now since I enthusiastically dived into this subject. As a student I also seized every opportunity to investigate numerous other subjects: French, biology, scientific journalism, environmental science and business economics. Throughout those years, I was in my element. Continue reading

IP Stars 2018 announced

In May the British magazine Managing Intellectual Property again announced the names of IP professionals who can call themselves an “IP Star”. The list is the result of an independent worldwide study of IP firms and individual experts that is carried out annually based on questionnaires and interviews. Continue reading

Harrie Marsman says farewell

From 30 June, partner Harrie Marsman will enjoy early pension. On this date he will have been a partner for exactly 20 years and will have worked at V.O. for almost 29 years. He has been a member of the board and for the last nine years has also been financial director. Continue reading

Amendments Benelux trademark law

On 1 June 2018, two important amendments to the Benelux trademark law entered into force. The first concerns the possibility for trademark owners to challenge the validity of registered trademarks out of court. The second amendment concerns the possibility to oppose the registration of a younger trademark for non-similar goods or services. The amendments are briefly explained below. Continue reading

Patent attorney as strategic partner

  They have known each other for years. Nowadays they see each other almost every day in the new Utrecht location. The three experienced partners are Mark Einerhand, Cees Jansen and Harrie Marsman who get together to brainstorm how to approach their cases, discuss developments in their field and philosophise about their patent profession. 'In this dynamic region we will continue to grow in the coming years.' Continue reading

Column - The enterprising university

We’re doing things differently to many other universities, where the TTOs (technology transfer offices) often fly the flag of the university directly. Utrecht Holdings is financially independent, whereby Utrecht University and the UMC Utrecht are 100% owners of the shares. And that works well: it provides the freedom to be enterprising. Continue reading

Infringement by equivalence

It is one of the most challenging subjects in the field of patents – equivalence. Henri van Kalkeren, patent attorney at V.O., explains: ‘Recent decisions of judges therefore remain relevant to us. It is and remains a relatively grey area.’ Continue reading

Platform Formalities Officers increases level of administration

In various European countries, there is a great deal of enthusiasm about the approach and method of the Platform Formalities Officers (PFO). In less than ten years, the PFO has developed into a respected platform. High time to find out a bit more about it. Ronald van Egmond, PFO board member and business support senior advisor at V.O., answers five questions. Continue reading

United Kingdom approves Unified Patent Court

The UK has given its final approval of the new Unified Patent Court (UPC) and the new Unitary Patent on 26 April 2018. Continue reading

Registering a trademark: can you do that yourself, too?

You come up with a name for your new company or you launch a brand with a new name. Of course, you don’t want a competitor, anywhere in the world, to start using the same name. Trademark registration is the logical step. But do you do it yourself or do you bring in an expert? Three different parties explain. Continue reading

Breakthrough in the detection of cancer tumours

Scientists who decide not to publish papers, but to explore whether their discovery is the basis of a company. That’s the path taken by Cyclomics, the start-up of Wigard Kloosterman and Jeroen de Ridder. Continue reading

V.O. sponsor of the Amsterdam Science & Innovation Award (AMSIA) 2018

We are proud to announce that V.O. will be sponsor of the Amsterdam Science & Innovation Award (AMSIA) 2018, of which the finals of the Award will be held for the thirteenth time on Tuesday 19 June 2018. Continue reading

Patents attract investors and offer entrepreneurial freedom

A patent is much more than the legal protection of a product. It can expand your financial perspectives and help make a business attractive to investors. Patent Attorney Johannes van Melle explains, and two businesses talk about their motives. Continue reading

New office in Utrecht

The V.O. branches in Amersfoort and ‘s-Hertogenbosch are joining forces at a new, central location. They are merging at a large, new branch in Utrecht, located close to the A12, with excellent connections to the city centre. The address is Gebouw de Winthont, Winthontlaan 6/G, 3526 KV Utrecht. Continue reading
MIP Firm Year award

Benelux Firm of the Year Award for V.O.

We did it again! During the annual Managing IP’s EMEA  Awards Dinner of 8 March, the Benelux Firm of the Year Award was presented to V.O. Continue reading

New V.O. website

You may have already noticed that V.O. has a new website. This went live in early March. The website comprises sections in Dutch, Flemish, English and German and will be able to support and promote our international service even more efficiently. Continue reading

Patents are the most important indicator of a company’s powers of innovation

In 2016, the European Patent Office (EPO) granted a record number of patents. The USA submitted the most applications by far (40,076). Germany is placed second (25,086), while the Netherlands and Belgium occupy seventh (6,889) and twelfth (2,186) place respectively. But what does a patent say about a company’s powers of innovation? Continue reading

Finding a breakthrough against antibiotic resistance

It was less than a year ago when, brimming with enthusiasm, he opted for the uncertainty of a start-up. Chemist Andreas A. Bastian started his business AGILeBiotics on the Zernike campus of the University of Groningen. His aim is to achieve a breakthrough in the fight against antibiotic resistance: ‘We have since developed a technology that is protected by a patent both in Europe and in the USA, and that is crucial.’ Continue reading

Annemie Swinnen strengthens Leuven office

As of 1 January 2018, Annemie Swinnen has come to strengthen our branch in Leuven as European patent attorney. Annemie, a chemistry graduate, has an impressive track record. She worked as an all-round, in-house patent attorney and IP team manager in the chemical industry for many years. Continue reading

‘Patent pending’ works differently in Germany

Germany is by far the most important trade partner for Belgium and the Netherlands, particular because of the export market. Yet, we seldom realise that the rules there for the use of product markings such as ‘patent pending’ are generally much stricter. Continue reading

V.O. ‘top filer’ PCT

In its recently published IP Stars PCT Leaders report 2017, the magazine Managing Intellectual Property highlighted V.O. as a notable PCT top patent filer for the Netherlands. Managing Intellectual Property is the ultimate source of news and analysis on IP developments worldwide.

Recommended firm according to WTR 1000

Also for 2018, WTR 1000, the Number One research directory focusing on trademark practices and practitioners, ranked V.O. among the world’s leading trademark professionals. The firm “provides excellent advice and a wonderful service for Benelux and EU matters”. As a recommended individual, trademark attorney Noëlle Wolfs is highlighted as “a dab hand before the BOIP and EUIPO”, who has a gift for “hunting down and removing imitations from the market”.

Nintendo’s model right is outplayed

The holder of a model registration may file an objection against third parties that use its model (a product design, for example) without its permission. The term ‘use’ is also understood to mean the depiction of that model. However, the European Court of Justice has made it clear to model holder Nintendo that there are limits to those rights. Continue reading
Frans Schmetz

The success of Eindhoven

The whole world’s attention is on the success of Brainport Eindhoven. What is the secret? Someone from the Economic Board Amsterdam once paid me a compliment during a visit: ‘You all already know one another.’ That actually came about out of necessity during the crisis in the 1990s, when the ‘captains of industry’ agreed that they wanted to work together to find solutions. Continue reading

‘Small businesses are getting the attention they deserve’

The Netherlands is proud of its powers of innovation, and the new government understandably hopes to make a contribution in this regard. But what choices are being made? Patent attorney Marco Molling has been examining the new coalition agreement and shares his view on the new ambitions and plans. Continue reading

V.O. Arnhem office relocation

From 1 December, the Arnhem office of V.O. is based at a new location, on the eleventh floor of the Rijntoren, also known as the blue tower. This modern office building is directly adjacent to Arnhem Central Station. Our colleagues in Arnhem are very pleased with their new workplace. Continue reading

Innovation for Health

It feels familiar for V.O. to also be present as a platinum sponsor at the forthcoming edition of Innovation for Health (on 1 February 2018). Innovation for Health is a prominent event in the Netherlands in the field of innovation in healthcare and life sciences. The theme will be ‘Transition in Healthcare’. Continue reading

EMA is good for the Netherlands’ innovation climate

The relocation of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to Amsterdam will provide a boost to the region as a location for international and knowledge-intensive companies to establish themselves. The Agency determines which medicines are granted access to the European market. There are many medical sector companies that will be pleased to be based close to the EMA. It is therefore expected that some of those companies will follow the EMA to our country. Continue reading

IP Academy 2018

In early 2018, V.O. will once again be organising two separate day-long IP courses under the title of the ‘IP Academy’. These day-long events are aimed at IP managers and professionals responsible for IP policy. The basic course will be held on Thursday, 25 January and is aimed at those who deal with IP on a regular basis, but are not yet sufficiently familiar with all the necessary ‘ins and outs’. Continue reading
IP Academy

V.O.’s own training ensures rapid talent development

As a trainee, you can start working at V.O. to become a patent attorney. Following a strict selection procedure, the new trainees follow official training at the Netherlands Institute of Patent Attorneys. Additionally, they complete an internal training programme at V.O., which ensures that trainees can start working for clients with practical knowledge. Continue reading
Nuon Solar Team 2017

NUON Solar Team wins again!

The team of Delft Technical University of Technology has also won the latest edition of the Bridgestone Solar Challenge, the race for solar vehicles. V.O. was again sponsor of this super-innovative team. Continue reading
All Round

Left empty-handed due to loss of distinctive character

Products that have a distinctive character on the market can be protected by invoking what is called slavish imitation. In a case about pendants for necklaces, the Supreme Court recently delivered another interesting judgment in which the conditions for invoking this form of protection are clarified. Continue reading
Coen Breedveld

Bringing an end to the incorrect prescribing of antibiotics

“We actually have a really good business case,” explained Coen Breedveld from Levels Diagnostics in Leiden. The start-up company, established by Coen and three co-founders, is developing a rapid type of blood test that makes it possible to demonstrate whether an infection is viral or bacterial. Continue reading
End of patents for plants

End of patents for plants. What are the consequences?

Plants created through a classic cross-breeding process can no longer be patented in Europe. The European Patent Office (EPO) decided this in July. The amending decision has a huge impact on cross-breeding patents and the position of Dutch agricultural and horticultural companies. Patent attorneys from V.O. have mapped out the key legal consequences and nuances of this decision. Below is a summary of these. Continue reading
Innovation Box

Renewed “Innovation box” focuses on patents

The Netherlands is a land of knowledge, which is why it implemented a tax measure known as the “Innovatiebox” (innovation box). As tax measures go, this proved a popular means of encouraging innovation. Since 2017, however, the rules of the game have altered significantly. Remco Dijkstra (KPMG Meijburg & Co) and Huub Maas (V.O.) have provided the following assessment of the situation as it currently stands. Continue reading
Owner of patent

Is my patent actually my own?

Broadly speaking, all manner of changes relating to the ownership of patents can be subdivided into a legal section and an administrative section. The stage that takes place once the legal part – deeds of merger, licences, etc. – has been completed, is less widely known: the registration and administrative processing of those changes in the (patent) registers at home and abroad. The specialist team in our Assignments department will be glad to assist you in that regard. Continue reading
Transfer of rights & priority

Transfer and the priority right – make the right arrangements!

If an inventor submits a patent application, it isn’t yet known in all cases who will ultimately be the owner of the patent. As is the case with all types of goods, a patent (application) is transferrable, but the transfer is still subject to a set of stringent rules. If you don’t do it properly, the risks you will be running are significant. In the worst-case scenario, this could involve the loss of the patent itself. Continue reading
Ellen Hoogland - The Ocean Cleanup

A patent for The Ocean Cleanup

At The Ocean Cleanup, we are developing new technologies that will enable us to remove plastic from the oceans. Our aim is to bring a bout the largest clean-up campaign that history has ever seen, by providing a means with which the plastic waste can be removed from our oceans in a large-scale, efficient and environmentally-friendly manner. A brilliant challenge! Continue reading
German Law

Germany puts ratification UPC on hold

In June, Germany decided to postpone ratification of the Unitary patent, due to possible constitutional objections.We will inform you well in time as soon as the earliest possible introduction date is known. Continue reading

What will be the consequences of Brexit?

Brexit will soon take place, that much seems certain, but what consequences will this have with regard to IP and all related contracts? IP Leads spoke to three insiders and put the following question to them – Would it be sensible at this stage to start thinking about/to start taking account of Brexit in (commercial) contracts (or when amending them)? Continue reading
Fraudulous Invoices

Watch out for fraudulent invoices

During the past few years, we have frequently published warnings in this newsletter about fraudulent invoices and this phenomenon continues to crop up from time to time. Continue reading
Knowledge for Growth

Involvement in Knowledge for Growth

On Thursday 18 May, V.O. took part in the Knowledge for Growth conference once again, with a stand of its own. This year’s event took place in Gent, Belgium. Continue reading
Patent Match 2017

PatentMatch 2017

From 15 to 20 May, the top technology region, Brainport Eindhoven, hosted the Dutch Technology Week for the sixth time – a week which acts as a showcase for the technological ambitions and achievements in the region. Continue reading
Patent attorneys appreciate both technology and the law2

‘Patent attorneys appreciate both technology and the law’

Both Bettina Hermann and Marco Box were recently appointed as partners at V.O.: Ms Hermann in Germany, and Mr Box in Belgium. In this double interview, they talk about what drives them, their ambition and their curiosity. ‘IP is empowering, IP gives you a solid footing to attract investors.’ Continue reading
The Ocean Cleanup

Patent for The Ocean Cleanup innovative technology

The Ocean Cleanup has applied for a patent for the innovative technology that the Dutch company intends to use to clean up the huge quantities of plastic waste littering the world’s oceans. The company’s founder Boyan Slat announced the application last Wednesday on Twitter. Continue reading
Peter Toonssen Solliance

Flexible solar cells drive energy revolution

Peter Toonssen, programme manager at the Solliance research institute, believes we are barely scratching the surface of what solar energy has to offer. ‘Working closely together with businesses, our flexible solar cell solutions could provide a real breakthrough.’ Continue reading
Patenting software

Patenting software: can it be done?

Patenting software: lots of businesses and inventors believe this to be an impossible task. But is that really the case? And are there any real benefits? We’ve asked three people with different backgrounds for their opinion on this matter. Continue reading
Balanced patent system under Trump

A balanced patent system under Trump?

Will the American patent law system align itself closer to the system in Europe in the near future? US president Donald Trump’s arrival to office has refocused attention on this subject. What influence will the new president have on American IP policy? Tamara Elmore, a European patent attorney and American patent agent, sheds some light on the issues. Continue reading

SPA: not purely descriptive

Spa Monopole’s SPA trademark has notched up yet another legal victory. It is not the first time that Spa Monopole has successfully contested the use of the word ‘spa’ by third parties for cosmetic products. Last December, the company once again confirmed its reputation as a successful enforcer of trademarks. Continue reading
TUe & UT

V.O. sponsors TU/e and UT innovation competitions

V.O. is the main partner of the TU/e Contest (Eindhoven) and the UT Challenge (Twente). These competitions challenge students to develop an innovative idea, business plan, prototype or research project through the TU/e Contest and UT Challenge networks, respectively. Continue reading
V.O. Recruitment Film

Recruitment film a success

To boost recruitment of V.O. trainee patent attorneys, the office has had a short film made. Continue reading
Maurice Beckand Verwee

Your success depends on your team

An inventor going it alone is a risk. Let’s put it more strongly: we’re not interested in investing in one-man bands. It’s essential that you gather a team around you, or you simply won’t make it. To succeed, you always need people who are knowledgeable about sales, design and programming. This means at least two more people are needed to form a strong team. Continue reading
Innovation Box

From patent tax allowance to innovation tax allowance

Under pressure from the OECD, Belgium has extended its patent tax allowance to an innovation tax allowance. Continue reading

V.O. wins annual MIP Award

We did it again! During the annual MIP Award Ceremony of 9 March, the Netherlands Patent Prosecution Firm of the Year Award was presented to V.O. Continue reading
MIP Firm of the Year 2017

V.O. shortlisted for the Patent Prosecution award

V.O. is very pleased to announce that it has been shortlisted for the Netherlands Patent Prosecution Award 2017 by Managing IP. The firm was honored with this prestigious award also in 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2016. Continue reading
Money Losing Party Court

How much of the costs of proceedings will the losing party pay?

In legal proceedings, the losing party is often ordered to pay (part of) the costs of proceedings incurred by the successful party. In the case of IP proceedings in a European context, this is provided for in the (Intellectual Property Rights) Enforcement Directive. Nevertheless, the situation regarding payment to cover the costs of a lawyer or patent attorney in proceedings varies from country to country. Three experts from V.O. explain the respective situations in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. Continue reading
WTR 1000 Recommended

Recommended by WTR 1000

We are very proud to announce that for 2017, V.O. is once again recommended by WTR 1000 as a gold-plated Benelux agency. WTR 1000 praises us as a go-to firm where “sterling prosecution and portfolio management are underpinned by sophisticated back-office systems”. Noëlle Wolfs is singled out as “one of the very best trademark attorneys around today”, who “knows how to squeeze every last drop of commercial value from brand rights”. Continue reading

End to ‘poisonous priority’

The Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) appears to have put an end to the issue of ‘poisonous priority’. Continue reading
Innovation for Health

V.O. participates in Innovation for Health

Next year, V.O. is once again the partner in Innovation for Health, which is being held at the WTC Rotterdam on 16 February. Continue reading
Sander van Wijngaarden - Market Demands

‘Market demand always comes first’

In 2014, Embedded Acoustics won the Netherlands’ Security Innovation Competition (VIC) with its latest invention, the Personal Data Recorder (PDR). The VIC is an initiative of the Dutch Ministries of Defence and Security and Justice, and is sponsored by the IP firm V.O. The company is set to launch the PDR onto the market in 2017. Co-director and founder Sander van Wijngaarden declared, ‘our products truly make a difference.’ Continue reading
Patents on plants

European Commission decides against patents on plants

The interpretation of the Biotech Directive (Directive 98/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 1998 on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions) is being debated as a result of a statement issued by the European Commission (EC). Frits Michiels, patent attorney at V.O., qualifies the commotion: ‘The statement by the Commission has no immediate legal effect. I certainly do not envisage any changes for the near future.’ Continue reading
Translation Belgium European Patent

Additional translations no longer required in Belgium for a European patent

The London Agreement will be implemented in Belgium from 1 January 2017 by a legislative amendment. Consequently, it will no longer be necessary to submit a translation for the validation of a granted European patent in Belgium, including for patent applications drawn up in English. Continue reading
Changes procedural law

Important changes in procedural law

From 1 January 2017, there will be changes to the way in which legal proceedings are conducted in the Netherlands. The new regulations will be phased in and introduced on a court-by-court basis. The starting point of these new regulations is to simplify and digitise proceedings. The most important changes are summarised below. Continue reading

V.O. welcomes Bettina Hermann and Marco Box as new partners

Two new partners have joined V.O. Patents & Trademarks as of 1 January 2017: Bettina Hermann, of the Munich office, and Marco Box, of the Leuven office. As partners of V.O., Bettina Hermann (47) and Marco Box (45) have also become responsible for the daily operations at the offices in, respectively, Munich-Regensburg and Leuven. Continue reading

Brexit will not stop the unitary patent

On 28 November, the UK Government announced that it will ratify the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court, despite the result of the EU referendum to leave the European Union. Continue reading

Hyperlinks to copyright-protected material are a risky business!

This autumn, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the Court) issued an important ruling on copyright. The key players in this high-profile case were the website GeenStijl and the publisher Sanoma. Continue reading
Adapting to the changing market

Adapting to the changing market

On 21 October, the Leuven branch of V.O. invited its clients and contacts to a reception. Guests received a copy of the book Introspective to the future, a publication to celebrate 100 years of V.O. Continue reading
Pieter Hoff Treesolution

Working on the ‘Treesolution’

Gratitude, pride and the sense of a significant opportunity. That was my initial response when the Minister for Economic Affairs, Henk Kamp, named us as a National Icon. The National Icons, which have been named for the second year now, are companies that are tackling social issues with innovations. The Cabinet actively undertakes promotional activities for the winners. This will ensure that my company and the ‘Growboxx’ will come to the attention of far more people, and we will be able to potentially scale up production further as a result. It will result in our worldwide breakthrough, I hope. Continue reading

UK to ratify unitary patent after all

On 28 November the British government announced that it will ratify the agreement on the Unified Patent Court, despite the Brexit referendum vote to leave the European Union. This ratification is required to have the agreement enter into force and to launch the (EU) unitary patent and the associated European patent court. Continue reading
UPPC 2017

UPP Package 2017 – all about UP and UPC

On Thursday 9 and Friday 10 February 2017 the Unitary Patent Package Conference will be held in the Amsterdam Novotel. UPP Package 2017 is organized by Euroforum. As one of the partners, V.O. is actively involved in the event. Continue reading
NIDV 17 November 2016

NIDV Symposium & Exhibition 17 November

V.O. shall be attending the annual exhibition of The Netherlands Industries for Defence & Security (NIDV) in Ahoy, Rotterdam, on Thursday 17 November. Continue reading
Stack your IP rights

Stack your IP rights

A product can often be protected by several IP rights. Many companies are unaware of this. By ‘stacking IP rights’, a company can guarantee itself a stronger exclusivity position. Below is a brief overview. Continue reading
Innovation for Health

Meet us at Innovation for Health, Rotterdam, 16 February 2017

During Innovation for Health, cutting-edge innovations and ideas for healthcare will be presented to more than 800 delegates. Continue reading
IP Academy

New training days of the IP Academy

On Thursday, 13 October, the IP basic training course of the IP Academy was held. This course covers practical aspects of IP: what is actually protected by a patent, trademark or design? Continue reading

Patent for rusk indentation cannot be beaten

By now he has become one of the most famous inventors in the Netherlands: Theo Tempels (77). In 1999 the keen rusk eater invented the indentation in rusks. He applied for a patent. In the summer of 2016 he won a lawsuit from a major rusk manufacturer based on his patent. Continue reading
German Law

Learning from the German Employee Invention Act?

Germany is one of the few countries in Europe where the regulations and fees for employee inventions are clearly laid down in an Employee Invention Act. Other countries, including the Netherlands, should take this as an example. What can we learn from German legislation? Continue reading

Brexit delays unitary patent

This spring Europe was surprised by Brexit. By now it has become clear that there will also be quite a few consequences for the unitary patent and the Unified Patent Court. Patent Attorney Peter de Lange from V.O.: “We were supposed to start with this next year. But I can’t say if it’s even going ahead at all right now.” Continue reading
Nuon Solar Team South Africa

Nuon Solar Team wins Solar Challenge in South Africa

After having finished first in last year’s World Solar Challenge in Australia, the Nuna8s has now also won the SASOL Solar Challenge in South Africa. The race was from Pretoria to Cape Town. The team won their victory on 1 October. V.O. is one of the proud team sponsors. Continue reading
Legal representation costs in Belgium

Statutory contributions towards other party’s legal representation costs in Belgium

According to the Belgian fee system – ‘statutory contributions towards the other party’s legal representation costs’ – in legal proceedings, lawyer’s fees for the winning party are claimed from the losing party. Continue reading
Martin Klok

Martin Klok European Patent Attorney

In July Martin Klok was registered as a European Patent Attorney. As a Patent Attorney, Martin, who received his PhD in organic and physical chemistry in 2009, is specialised in complex molecular systems, food technology and biomedical technology. He has been working for V.O. since 2011. Continue reading
Hans Clevers - New Business Models

Wanted: new business models

In recent decades, several Nobel Prizes have been awarded in the field of stem cell and gene therapy research. But so far, the scientific promises have not or insufficiently been realised. Commercialisation appears to be much more difficult than we all thought at the time. Continue reading
IP Stars 2016

IP Stars of V.O.

This year, V.O. has once again been listed as a ‘Top Tier Firm’ in the ‘Patent prosecution – The Netherlands’ category by the British professional journal Managing IP. Continue reading
Living Trends Edwin van Oort Riverdale3

Riverdale anticipates latest living trends

Over a period of 10 years, the Riverdale family business has grown enormously. By now there are 1,800 sales points in the Netherlands and far outside. Commercial Manager and retail insider Edwin van Oort: “We are on top of the trend, which makes our home accessories stand out.” Continue reading
Soren Blomaart Taniq

Taniq conquers the world with robots

In 2006, three students from TU Delft started working with Taniq. Sören Blomaard was there from the start. He looks back on the early years and the success now: ‘What we offer makes sense, now we’re getting to work on great projects too.’ Continue reading
Insured parties choose own lawyer

Insured parties are free to choose their own lawyer

In two recent judgments, the European Court ruled that insurers will now have to reimburse the costs for external lawyers for administrative procedures whereby the assistance of a solicitor need not necessarily be sought. Previously, it had already been ruled that insurers were required to allow their insured parties to freely choose their lawyer in cases in which it is compulsory to be represented by a lawyer. Continue reading
Thijs Spigt - TTO

TTOs have proved invaluable

Our core business is to ensure that Erasmus MC’s inventions, from apps to biomarkers, are brought to market and are ultimately made available to patients. It goes without saying that this leads to increased visibility and additional income that we can use for research. Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs) are actually a relatively recent development in the Netherlands; we launched them in the late 1990s. But TTOs have now proved invaluable and almost everyone within Erasmus MC knows about us. Continue reading
Case Law

So. First of all some case law

Bavaria has filed an objection in interlocutory proceedings against the slogan ‘Zo. Nu eerst naar de cloud’. [So. First of all to the cloud.] This slogan was used by Yourhosting for its cloud services. These proceedings were initiated due to Bavaria’s well-known slogan (‘Zo. Nu eerst een Bavaria’ [So. First of all a Bavaria]) that Bavaria claims is protected by copyright. Continue reading
License agreement Unitary Patent

Unitary patent and the consequences for licence agreements

The new unitary patent and the associated court (UPC) are expected to come into existence at the start of 2017. The new regulations also have consequences for new and existing licence agreements. The most important changes are listed below. Continue reading

What impact does the Brexit have on EU trademarks and the unitary patent?

By referendum of 23 June, the UK population opted for leaving the EU. As a consequence, new agreements have to be made about all matters that had been laid down within the EU framework, including the EU trademark law. In addition, the Brexit will probably slow down the start of the unitary patent. Continue reading
Opt Out

Is opt-out wise?

The new Unified Patent Court (UPC) is also used for normal European patents. A so-called opt-out regulation can exclude the associated risk of the patent being invalidated in all associated countries in one fell swoop. But is this the right thing to do? Three patent attorneys from V.O. answer this question. Continue reading

Highly recommended

The 2016 edition of the guide ’IAM Patent 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners’ again praises V.O. as ‘highly recommended prosecution firm’. Continue reading
MIP Award Ceremony 2016

MIP Award

In March, V.O. was, for the fourth time, awarded the Global Award for ‘The Netherlands Prosecution IP Firm of the Year’ by the international magazine Managing IP. Continue reading
IP Academy

Prior announcement: IP Academy courses

At the end of 2016, two separate training days will be organised under the IP Academy umbrella. The IP managers and professionals responsible for the IP policy. You will be able to sign up to them from the end of August. Continue reading

‘We always go that one step further’

‘V.O. is increasingly becoming a partner in innovation’, says Chairman Cees Jansen. The reason for this interview is the 100th anniversary of V.O. It consists of a discussion about inventors, the importance of IP, the role played by V.O. and a look ahead to the future. Continue reading

Matchmaker between science and the market

As a knowledge broker, my job is to make sure that scientific results are used as they should be. This is what we here at Luris do for scientists. We act as a broker between the scientists at Leiden University and its Medical Centre on the one hand and the business sector on the other. Continue reading

Introduction of the European patent getting closer

The new European patent (the unitary patent) and the corresponding courts (the unified patent court) are continuing to take shape and will probably be launched at the beginning of 2017. This will result in significant changes for anyone in Europe who is involved in patents. Continue reading
Consequences Unitary Patent

‘Carefully consider the consequences of the Unitary Patent’

The Unitary Patent and the associated Unified Patent Court (UPC) will be launched at the beginning of 2017. Patent Attorney Koen Bijvank, leader of the taskforce that was set up at V.O. especially for this, explains the significance of the developments. ‘If your patent is not valid according to the UPC, it will be gone in all participating countries in one fell swoop.’ Continue reading

New: Association for IP attorneys of record

The Association for IP attorneys of record (Vereniging Intellectuele Eigendom Proces Advocaten (VIEPA)) was founded recently. The object of this association is to clearly differentiate these specialists from other professionals. Continue reading
SME portfolio V.O.

SME portfolio for V.O.

In April, V.O.’s office in Leuven was re-registered for a period of five years as a provider of Consulting services for the SME portfolio. Continue reading

New customs legislation

The Union Customs Code (UCC) will enter into force in 28 EU member states with effect from 1 May 2016. Under current customs regulations, the customs value of imported goods is the same as their transaction value. Continue reading

Capri-Sun: the shape mark back to form?

In theory, shapes can be registered as trademarks and monopolised. However, practice shows that a shape mark cannot be registered or invoked against third parties without justification. Capri-Sun, the producer of the well-known fruit drink of the same name, is now experiencing the complexities of shape marks for itself. However, there would seem to be some light at the end of the tunnel for Capri-Sun. Continue reading

Smart publication

Imagine that you are a company that has filed a patent application, but it has not yet been published. At this ‘secret’ application stage, you may find that a competitor from your network files an application for a similar patent, which will present you with problems. V.O. is introducing the ‘controlled publication’ especially for situations like this. Continue reading

Important changes to European Trademark Legislation

A number of important changes will be made to European trademark legislation with effect from 23 March 2016; these changes could affect your EU trademarks. Continue reading

V.O. shortlisted for the Patent Prosecution award

V.O. is very pleased to announce that it has been shortlisted for the Netherlands Patent Prosecution Award 2016 by Managing IP. The firm was honored with this prestigious award also in 2010, 2013 and 2014. Continue reading

Are new PACE programme rules an improvement?

The European Patent Office (EPO) has implemented more stringent rules for the PACE programme – which kicks in when anyone wants to accelerate their patent applications. Continue reading

V.O. wins MIP Award

V.O. proudly announces that, for the fourth time, it has won the MIP Global Award for The Netherlands Prosecution IP Firm of the Year. Continue reading

SkylineDx diagnostic tests conquer Europe

The Rotterdam biotech company SkylineDx was established in 2013 and was a relaunch of precursor Skyline Diagnostics. A new trail was blazed and all of the company’s energy was channelled into MMprofiler, a diagnostic test for a form of blood cancer. Continue reading

V.O. takes up mentoring role at Start-up Bootcamp

At the end of November, Demoday formed the conclusion to the HighTechXL Start-up Bootcamp (SBC) in Eindhoven. This is the first Dutch accelerator programme to focus exclusively on high-tech start-ups. Continue reading

Vouchers for award-winning inventions

The Cardio Acces Key, developed by Science & Technology Corporation, has come top in the 2015 Veiligheid Innovatie Competitie (VIC, Safety Innovation Competition), organised at the initiative of the Ministry of Security and Justice. Continue reading

V.O. Patents & Trademarks 100 years

In 2016, V.O. will celebrate its centenary! The company was incorporated in 1916 under the name Vereenigde Octrooibureaux. Over all those years, V.O. has developed into a major player in the field of patents and trademarks. Continue reading

NUON shines brightest in Solar Challenge Australia

This year’s location for the five-day World Solar Challenge was Australia. On 22 October our team completed an intense race through the desert to finish first. We covered 3000 kilometres in just 33 hours, 26 minutes and 12 seconds, making us the first competitors to cross the finish line. Continue reading

Keep your knowledge in the field of IP up to date

“I am up-to-date again,” comments a participant in the advanced course at the V.O. IP Academy. In the autumn of 2015, dozens of IP managers and officers took part in the introductory and advanced course in the field of IP. IP Leads asked three participants about their motivations and experiences. Continue reading

Heart beat key wins VIC2015

The Cardio Acces Key by Science & Technology Corporation has won the Security Innovation Competition (VIC2015). The competition, the theme of which was smart access control, was organized by the Ministry of Security and Justice, the Ministry of Defence, the National Police and the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee. In addition to a contract at the value of € 200,000, the winner received a patent voucher from V.O. Continue reading

Do good inventor reward schemes result in better inventions?

In Germany, inventor reward schemes have been enshrined in law, not so in the Netherlands or Belgium. Nevertheless, a great number of organisations in those countries do operate a reward programme. Does a reward scheme promote quantity and quality when it comes to inventions? Continue reading

V.O. moves to new head office in The Hague

As of 28 September, the new head office of V.O. Patents & Trademarks is located at Carnegieplein 5, directly across from the Peace Palace, in The Hague. Continue reading

V.O. strengthens team with two experienced European patent attorneys

Alexander van Loon and Jasper Groot Koerkamp have recently joined V.O.  Patents & Trademarks as European patent attorneys. Continue reading

Luxexcel: the most innovative company in the Netherlands

Luxexcel is the company that tops the Innovation Top 100 for SMEs. Their innovation: producing optical lenses using a 3D printer. Guido Groet, their experienced CEO, welcomes the recognition and is looking ahead to the future: “The past few years have been mainly about investment. In the years ahead, our focus will be on growing our turnover.” Continue reading

Dutch start-up conquers the world

At just 24 years old, he has been hailed as the best student entrepreneur worldwide; his products are sold in seventy countries and he has just opened a new office in Boston. Continue reading

Stronger legal position for authors?

On 1 July 2015, the Dutch Copyright Act was amended as a result of the adoption of the Copyright Contracts bill. This legislative change primarily concerns authors of copyrighted works and aims to improve their legal position. Continue reading

IP critical to future success

When it comes to innovative entrepreneurship, Eindhoven is regarded as one of the hotbeds in the Netherlands. However, start-ups in this region do not always pay sufficient attention to IP, notes patent attorney Johannes van Melle. “A patent helps to bolster your position, whatever the situation.” Continue reading

Is it possible to successfully apply for a patent without a patent attorney?

Patent applications require the intervention of specialists. Although this is the general consensus, could inventors actually do it themselves too? IP Leads presented this question to three parties active in the field. Continue reading

‘Having adequate arrangements in place is attractive to investors’

Investors are not interested in patents alone; they expect tax and legal matters to be arranged properly too. V.O. attorney-at-law Nick Oostenbroek: ‘Entrepreneurs want to have everything under control, but lack an overview in many cases. They are often too close to the matter at hand to be able to see the overall picture.’ Continue reading

Immerse yourself in the world of IP

‘Europe strengthens leading role with a unitary patent’. This was one of the newspaper headlines in the FD recently. The world of patents and IP is very dynamic and, as such, an ideal time for the V.O. IP seminar. Organiser Harrie Marsman: ‘In the autumn, we will bring participants up-to-date on changing legislation and regulations and on all of the consequences this will have for the IP strategy adopted by your company or organisation.’ Continue reading

Storm umbrella in bad weather?

The well-known Senz storm umbrella is a Dutch design by a student from TU Delft (2005). In 2009, Senz was granted a European design right to two design variants of this umbrella. This was followed by a legal battle for these rights, which resulted recently in a decision by the European General Court. Continue reading

On the road with the EPO

Column by Harrie Marsman, European patent attorney Continue reading

Kun je zonder octrooigemachtigde succesvol een octrooi aanvragen?

Een octrooi aanvragen is werk voor specialisten, zo is de algemene overtuiging. Maar kun je als uitvinder het eigenlijk ook zelf doen? IP Leads legde deze vraag voor aan drie betrokkenen.

Zelf schrijven is lastig

Het zelf schrijven van een octrooiaanvraag is lastig voor iemand die hier geen specifieke opleiding voor heeft. Een octrooiaanvraag is geen invulformulier, maar een technisch en juridisch document om zelf op te stellen. Met name bij de conclusies van het octrooi moet de formulering heel precies zijn. Die spelen immers een hoofdrol in een eventuele  rechtszaak. Voor kwalitatief goede octrooien verwijzen wij daarom altijd door naar de Orde van Octrooigemachtigden (www.octrooi.nl). Wel is het raadzaam je goed voor te bereiden op het gesprek met de octrooigemachtigde. Hiervoor biedt Octrooicentrum Nederland kosteloos ondersteuning. Karen Kraan-Sam MSc Octrooiadviseur Octrooicentrum Nederland

Goede conclusie is moeilijk

Bij onze octrooiaanvraag voor een mobiele verfspuitinstallatie heb ik eerst een voorbeeld van de site gehaald van het Octrooicentrum. Dat was mijn leidraad. Vervolgens kreeg ik feedback op de aanvraag van het Octrooicentrum. Ik heb er toen enkele vormfouten uitgehaald. Ook stuurde het Octrooicentrum een onderzoek naar de stand van de techniek, met daarin soortgelijke octrooien uit China en Amerika. Toen hebben we een octrooigemachtigde in de arm genomen zodat we de andere vindingen konden pareren in de tekst – die kwamen namelijk niet overeen. En het belangrijkste, de conclusie konden aanscherpen. Een goede conclusie schrijven is echt een vak apart. Dico van Toor Mede-eigenaar van Paint Spray Solutions

Plank misslaan met octrooiaanvraag

Octrooiaanvragen die door de aanvrager zelf zijn opgesteld en ingediend slaan vaak de plank mis. Soms zijn de conclusies te beperkt (makkelijk te omzeilen) of is de uitvinding juist te vaag of veel te veel in termen van het beoogde resultaat geclaimd. Ook worden de conclusies vaak niet goed ondersteund door de uitleg in de beschrijving. Soms kunnen gebreken na een klein jaar, bij het indienen van een vervolgaanvraag met prioriteit (terugwerkende kracht voor de beoordeling op nieuwheid en inventiviteit), worden gecorrigeerd, maar meestal niet omdat voor de verbeteringen het recht van prioriteit niet geldt. De kans op succes wordt sterk vergroot door de aanvraag wél met ondersteuning van een octrooigemachtigde op te stellen. Als het budget klemt, kan de aanvrager daarbij met zelfwerkzaamheid de kosten beperken. Kim Tan Octrooigemachtigde V.O.

Amendments to EU and Benelux trademark law

EU trademark law has recently been substantially modernised. More efficient and consistent law is not only better suited to the present internet age, but also contributes to a more coherent body of procedures within Europe. Continue reading

Who does an invention belong to?

One of your business's employees invents something promising. Great news, of course, but who then has the rights to this invention? Continue reading

Lead Pharma: "Valorisation is our main concern"

Dutch firm Lead Pharma develops drugs to combat cancer and autoimmune diseases. To be able to quickly introduce a commercially promising innovation to the market, Lead Pharma often works together with partners. Continue reading

Unitary patent: little benefit to SMEs?

The European Union is set to introduce a common patent, known as the Unitary patent. Unlike the current European patent, whereby countries are designated separately, the Unitary patent will apply concurrently in practically every single member state. Continue reading

US Supreme Court makes it easier to obtain a conviction due to incitement to patent infringement

'Inducement' to patent infringement may exist in the US with the delivery of products to a business, which in its turn infringes the patent in the US with these products. Continue reading

Public consultation on legislative changes for unitary patent

On Friday 1 May 2015 an internet consultation started for the draft legislative proposal to amend the 1995 Patents Act (Rijksoctrooiwet 1995) in connection with the Jurisdiction Convention. Continue reading

Is Vlaanderen Muziekland a distinctive brand?

A descriptive wordmark cannot be registered in many cases. In the case of Vlaanderen Muziekland, however, the Brussels Court of Appeal takes a different view. Continue reading

Activate your ideas - column by Cees Jansen

You will probably have noticed that the newsletter has undergone a metamorphosis. We have also simultaneously launched a new slogan: Activate your ideas. Continue reading
Legal representation costs in Belgium

Who owns the invention in Belgium?

The basic principle in Belgium is that the patent right belongs to the inventor or his successor in title. Continue reading
V.O. Patents & Trademarks Amsterdam

V.O. opens office in Amsterdam

V.O. is opening its tenth branch this summer on Amsterdam's Weteringschans, a stone's throw from the Rijksmuseum. The plan is the initiative of Otto Oudshoorn and Frits Schut. Asked about the motivation for the new office, Oudshoorn says, "We want to be right where our clients are." Continue reading

V.O. new sponsor world champion solar racing

As a new sponsor, V.O. will help the Nuon Solar Team take full advantage of its intellectual property. With fifteen years of experience, the team uses the most innovative technology in the solar racing car Nuna 8 that is currently being built. Continue reading

V.O. new sponsor for solar racing world champions

The Nuon Solar Team is putting its knowledge about solar-powered cars down on record in order to benefit from the experience the world champions have built up over the years. On the basis of fifteen years’ experience, the team is applying the most innovative technologies to its solar-powered racing car Nuna 8, which is currently being built. Continue reading

European Patent Office confirms patentability of plants

The European Patent Office has recently confirmed that plant products are not excluded from patentability. Continue reading

Michiel Haegens (V.O.) new President Benelux Trademark and Design Association

As of 26 March 2015, lawyer and trademark attorney Michiel Haegens has been appointed President of the Benelux Association of Trademark and Design Law (BMM). Continue reading

Vice-president of EPO may administer the law again

Last year the Enlarged Board of Appeal challenged its own chairman, the Dutchman Wim van der Eijk, on suspicion of partiality. Continue reading

Infringement under the doctrine of equivalence

For assessing the scope of protection of a Patent (or a Utility Model) and for determining whether an accused product falls within the same, the claims of the respective IP-right have to be construed literally.  In some countries literal interpretation of a claim is broad in others it is narrow focusing on the exact working. Continue reading

Innovative brainstorming

Almost 200 representatives of SMEs were present at V.O.'s presentation the High Tech Campus Eindhoven on 27 February 2015. Continue reading

Overlap between executive and judicial power at the European Patent Office

An appeal brought before the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA) at the European Patent Office (EPO) cited bias on the part of the EBoA's chairman. The chairman in question is also the Vice-President of Directorate-General 3 (DG3) – which is responsible for all the boards of appeal (BoAs) – as well as being a member of the EPO's Management Committee. Continue reading

Seminar IP strategy with a limited budget

When does investing in IP protection actually make sense? How can you protect your IP with a limited budget by cleverly using the possibilities? And what role can IP play in order to make your entreprise more attractive for a take-over? How do you create value? Continue reading

Belgium is seeking harmonised patent jurisdiction

Courts in Belgium are seeking harmonisation of European patent jurisdiction, ahead of the arrival of the Unified Patent Court. Continue reading

Japanese IP law reforms

In April 2014, the Japanese Diet passed a bill into law that aims to bring the Japanese IP system into line with other jurisdictions.  The new system will come into force at an as-yet unknown time in 2015. Continue reading

Companies alleging IP infringements often don't have a leg to stand on

Sending a warning letter can sometimes be an effective means of asserting your rights. But if that letter is based on non-existent intellectual property rights, sending it may, in certain circumstances, be illegal. Continue reading

IP and Open Source seminar: (im)possible?

Open Source software and hardware have many advantages, but there are big differences when it comes to the obligations involved. Because of this, we organised a series of seminars in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, during which we examined Open Source and looked at how it fits into a business model.

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Seminar Munich September 2015

On 28 en 29 September 2015 V.O. will organize the third edition of its bi-annual IP seminar in Munich. Continue reading

Innovation for Health 5 februari 2015

V.O. -relaties met €50 korting naar Innovation for Health  Continue reading

Judgment in AGA case confirms the need for harmonisation

In the case of AGA Medical Corporation vs. Occlutech (UK) Limited, the British High Court of Justice declared AGA"s patent to be null and void. Although the European Patent Office"s (EPO) Opposition Division has also revoked the patent, they made their decision on entirely different grounds. This difference of opinion emphasizes yet again the lack of harmonisation between the national courts and the EPO.

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V.O. participates in the NIDV Symposium & Exhibition

On 20 November, the Netherlands Industries for Defence & Security (NIDV) organizes its 26th annual Symposium & Exhibition in Rotterdam (Ahoy). The prime national event for presenting the latest technological developments in the field of security and defence. Continue reading

Licensee"s position improved?

The fate of a licence if the licensor is declared bankrupt is far from straightforward. Generally, the licensee has an interest in being able to continue using the licence "as normal". A recent ruling by the Dutch Supreme Court appears to support this. There is, as yet, no unequivocal answer.

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A question of (individual) character

To obtain protection for industrial designs, the most important requirement is that the design concerned is new and has an "individual character". This individuality has been the subject of much debate by the courts.

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China also wants proper rules on employee inventions

Who owns an invention? Generally, the inventor does not apply for the patent. In many cases, the applicant is the inventor"s employer. But who is entitled to the revenue from the patent? The rules differ depending on the country. New legislation is also in the offing in China.

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EU report: customs enforcement in 2013

The goods that were most frequently seized by customs last year are clothing (12%), medicines (10%) and cigarettes (9%), originating mainly from China.

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V.O. whitepaper on IP outsourcing

In practise, the outsourcing of IP by enterprises having in-house IP departments often appears to be more complex that it may seem at first. V.O. has published a whitepaper that provides clarity in this matter.

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New Zealand"s patent law toughened up

On 13 September 2014, a new patent law enters into force in New Zealand. This law is tougher on a number of points than its predecessor.

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V.O. participates in Global Patent Congress

Like previous year, V.O. is sponsor to the Global Patent Congress 2014, to be held in Copenhagen from 22-24 September. Continue reading

The attorneys-at-law at V.O. are deployable in a wide range of areas

In an organisation that specialises in patents, brands and designs, our attorneys-at-law have found themselves almost forced to operate on the sidelines.

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V.O. participates in Global Patent Congress

Like previous year, V.O. is sponsor to the Global Patent Congress 2014, to be held in Copenhagen from 22-24 September.

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German utility model alternative to national patent

Besides obtaining a German patent, the utility model makes it possible to protect the same invention without this being regarded as (impermissible) double protection.

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Amendments to German intellectual property law

On 1 January and 1 April 2014, a number of changes were made to German design law and the German Patent Act.

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Belgium has ratified the agreement on the unified patent court (UPC)

This means that Belgium is the fourth country to have effectively welcomed the new Unified European Patent. Belgium ratified the Agreement on the Unified   Patent Court on 6 June 2014, after it had already been approved by the Belgian Parliament before the elections that were held on 24 May 2014.

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China amends its intellectual property regulations

Since 1 May 2014, a number of changes have come into effect in the regulations for patent assessment in China. One of the most important changes relates to graphical user interface inventions (GUIs). Continue reading

New Belgian Patent Act "more European’

The new Belgian Patent Act of 10 January 2011 is expected to enter into force in the autumn of 2014.

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Black-and-white logos do not cover every type of colour use any more

The trademark protection extended to the trademark owners of black-and-white logos that only use the logo in question in colour may be at risk. Continue reading

US limits possibilities of patent protection for software inventions

In the Alice Corp. v CLS ruling, the American Supreme Court has made it clear that the development and sale of computer systems and programs cannot be protected by a patent if it only involves a general implementation of an inventive abstract concept.

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Dutch supreme court allows claim construction to exclude embodiments that do not solve the stated problem

In its decision Medinol vs Abbot, the Dutch supreme court has clarified the law on use of claim construction to import limitations that are not present in the literal meaning of a patent claim.

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Personnel and IP rights

In the Netherlands, we have employers’ IP rights. In other words: intellectual property rights ensuing from activities that are performed by employees will accrue to the employer. However, this is subject to one condition, namely that the activities undertaken by the employee fall within the scope of his job description. This makes a good job description important. It will also be vital to make clear agreements about the remuneration that the employee receives.

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New trademark law China heralds further conformism

China’s new trademark law coming into effect on 1 May proves that even China has finally conformed to international intellectual property laws and regulations. The reason: enlightened self-interest. This is something Dutch entrepreneurs will profit from as well. Continue reading

DSM defeats competitor in patent battle

Chemical company DSM, which uses the services of V.O. for cases involving intellectual property rights, recently achieved commercial success by eliminating a patent held by its competitor 3D Systems. Both companies are active in the field of stereolithography, a technology that can be used to create a three-dimensional object through the layered polymerisation of a liquid with light (photopolymerisation).

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Chemical specialism now in Arnhem too

V.O. believes that it is important to be in the market and close to its clients. This is why Hajo Kraak, a specialist in Chemistry and Life Sciences, has been working from the V.O. office in Arnhem since 1 February 2014. By doing this, he is responding to the wishes and needs of the growing number of clients that the company has in this region.

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Distinguishing features: difficult to protect

In a legal sense, a brand is defined as a sign that is open to graphic depiction and that can be used to distinguish the goods or services that an organisation offers. In short, a brand is a distinctive sign. External product characteristics are open to graphic depiction too, but are almost never eligible for trademark protection. This is because they are rarely deemed capable of distinguishing the product in question, despite the fact that product characteristics are actually recognised as an indication of origin.

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Belgian patent attorneys

In January, two Dutch and European patent attorneys for V.O. were registered as Belgian patent attorneys too: Annemie Jaeken and Bart Jan Niestadt. Annemie works at the V.O. office in Leuven; Bart Jan divides his time between the offices in Eindhoven and Leuven.

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Register for the China seminar

In the last newsletter, we drew your attention to a seminar about IP cases involving China, which is scheduled for the spring of this year. We can now inform you that the seminar will take place from 3 to 6 p.m., on Wednesday 23 April in Eindhoven and on Thursday 24 April in Leuven. The title of the seminar is Trademarks & Patents, Eight Golden Rules for your Business with China.

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The flexible professional as opposed to the rigid ‘average’ skilled person

According to Article 123 (2) of the European Patent Convention (EPC), no amendments may be proposed to a patent application in procedures before the European Patent Office if the amendments in question are not covered by the content of the original application submitted. The object of this article was to prevent an invention from shifting over time to become something that was actually only invented at a later date. However, there is a problem with the interpretation of this particular article.

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You are invited to our INTA conference reception in Hong Kong on Tuesday 13 May 2014!

The INTA Meeting (10-14 May) is the trademark industry’s premier event of the year. Continue reading

V.O. wins MIP Award

For the third time V.O. has won the MIP Global Award for The Netherlands Prosecution IP Firm of the year.

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Patenting also effective for small- and medium-sized enterprises

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) prove to profit, just like big companies, from the protection of innovative products through patents. This is in contrast to what has been generally assumed to date.

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Flanders launches project I innovate

The Belgian government sets great store on making entrepreneurs in SMEs more innovation-minded. That’s why in July of this year the project I innovate was started.

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Less strict rules for filing divisional European patent applications

Effective 1 April 2014, it will be possible again to file divisional applications as long as the parent application is still pending. That announcement has recently been made by the European Patent Office (EPO).

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Ideas and copyright

An idea in itself is not straightaway eligible for protection by copyright. That’s what Raab TV has found out recently.

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V.O. seminar on China and the force of IP

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Delegation EPO and V.O. visits US

Examiners of the European Patent Office (EPO) at times make a study trip to countries or regions outside the EPO zone. When they do, a primary aim is an exchange of knowledge, promoting collaboration between the two parties.

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Seminar Munich

Following the seminar held in Munich in October 2011, V.O. organised a second edition in October 2013, titled Autumn Seminar on Recent Developments in IP.

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Rules for filing European divisional applications will be liberalized

The European Patent Office has announced that from 1 April 2014 the rules posing time limits on filing divisional patent applications will be abolished.

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IP seminar in Munich, 14-16 October 2013

On 14, 15 and 16 October 2013 V.O. will organize its Autumn Seminar on recent developments in IP in Munich, which is in many respects a sequel to its Seminar on European Patent Strategies which was held in Munich in September 2011. Continue reading

V.O. again Firm of the Year

V.O. has again been elected IP Firm of the Year by the British magazine Managing Intellectual Property for its patent and trademarks services in the Netherlands. The election took place during the 2013 edition of Managing IP Global Awards.

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V.O., the new name of Vereenigde

As of 30 March 2013 the name of our firm shall be V.O. The new name is the abbreviation of Vereenigde Octrooibureaux, the official name by which the firm was founded back in 1916.

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Marie-José Luys reinforces position Vereenigde in Belgium

As of 1 December Marie-José Luys reinforces the team of patent attorneys in the Belgian office of Vereenigde, which was recently set up in Science Park Arenberg, Leuven.

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Dutch court rules that Samsung’s Galaxy products with Android 3.0 and higher do not infringe Apple patent

Dutch court rules Apple has asserted European patent No 2059868 against Samsung in a number of countries.

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Dutch court forbids involvement in patent infringement in Portugal

A recent decision of the preliminary relief judge offers new possibilities in the Netherlands for holders of intellectual property rights valid abroad.

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New office in Germany

Since a couple of months VEREENIGDE has a second German office. In addition to Munich, where we have had an office since 2008, we are now also present in Regensburg, a city located on the Danube 100 km North-East of Munich.

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Highly recommended in IAM 1000

The British IP journal "Intellectual Asset Management" recently published the guide "IAM Patent 1000 - The World"s Leading Patent Practioners".

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Agreement on European unitary patent?

On Friday 29 June, as a result of the EU summit, a great breakthrough was achieved in respect of the European patent. The prime ministers of Germany, France and the United Kingdom have agreed that there will be a patent that is directly valid in the European Union. There will also be a Patent Court for handling infringement conflicts. This court will have its main seat in Paris, with branches in London and Munich. It seems that this will bring an end to nearly fourty years of negotiations about this issue. Continue reading

Prior art effect of private e-mails and publicly accessible website

The Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office has ruled on the prior art effect of electronic communication in a pair of test cases. These test cases (T2/09 and T1553/06) were initiated by Philips Electronics and DSM under the aegis of the Dutch organization of entrepreneurs.

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Essentially biological products

The district court in summary proceedings rejected Taste of Nature’s bid to ban infringement of their European Raphanus patent.

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Office closed on Queen"s Day

Because of Queen"s Day, all offices of VEREENIGDE in the Netherlands will be closed on Monday 30 April. As from Tuesday 1 May we will be at your service again.

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Dutch ruling on validity of Escitalopram

Recently, the Court of Appeal (Hof) at The Hague ruled on the validity of Lundbeck’s patent on the antidepressant Escitalopram (EP 0 347 666).

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VEREENIGDE opens office in Belgium

This Spring, VEREENIGDE will open its brand new office at Science Park Arenberg at Leuven, amidst several renowned knowledge institutions and enterprises. Continue reading

VEREENIGDE welcomes new partners

As from 1 January 2012, Michiel van Rooij and Marco Molling, practising from respectively the Arnhem and The Hague offices, have joined the partnership of VEREENIGDE.

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The story of surgical methods continues

In a recent decision of August 2011, T923/08, a Technical Board of Appeal (BoA) had to decide on a method for measuring parameters on a human or animal body, in particular measuring the length of a femur.

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IP protection via national routes – Germany as an example

The proper IP strategy for a company can differ depending on several company-specific factors, such as the business field of the company, its market performance, competitive position, and - of course - the budget available.

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Double Dutch: Breeder’s exemption in patent law

The Dutch government has committed itself to including a breeder’s exemption in the Dutch patent law. Political opposition and lobby groups are advocating for a full (UPOV 1978-style) breeder’s exemption.

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VEREENIGDE"s seminar in Munich

VEREENIGDE held a seminar in Munich from 18 to 20 September 2011 focusing on European Patent strategies. The event was hosted by VEREENIGDE"s Munich office in cooperation with VEREENIGDE"s headquarters in The Hague.

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Cross-border injunctions in patent proceedings – again?

Recently, a new chapter was added to the ongoing attempts of the Dutch courts to provide cross-border injunctions in intellectual property cases

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Again high PCT score for VEREENIGDE

Each year, the British magazine Managing Intellectual Property (MIP) conducts a survey of PCT filing firms.

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Benefits of filing U.S. provisional applications until 16 March 2013

Once the U.S. provisions relating to the First-Inventor-to-File system come into effect on 16 March 2013, foreign priority applications will have the same benefits as U.S. provisional applications.

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New premises for Munich office VEREENIGDE

As of 6 September 2011, the Munich office of VEREENIGDE has moved to another location in the city center of Munich. Continue reading

Damages occurring after termination of a tort

It is established practice in the Netherlands that the extent of damage that occurs as a consequence of a tort need not be proven up to the hilt.

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Tips on recording patent transfers

In two recent decisions of the Technical Boards of Appeal of the EPO, the recording of the transfer of a European patent played an important role in the admissibility of the appeal.

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The importance of properly and timely recording a patent transfer

In two recent decisions of the Technical Boards of Appeal of the EPO, the recording of the transfer of a European patent played an important role in the admissibility of the appeal.

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Oral proceedings conducted in The Hague or Munich?

Since the start of the BEST programme (Bringing Examination and Search Together) oral proceedings in examination and opposition can be held both in The Hague and in Munich, whereas formerly these proceedings could only be performed in Munich.

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Patentability of embryonic stem cells in Europe

What is an embryo? Advocate General M. Yves Bot has provided his opinion on this in case C-34/10 (Brüstle v Greenpeace).

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Seizure of Playstation 3 granted and lifted again

At the request of LG Electronics, a court in the Netherlands has granted an order to seize all Sony Playstations 3 (PS3) in the Netherlands, because they contain a Blu-Ray player covered by LG patents.

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Prohibition of reformatio in peius not applied

In T1544/07 one of the opponents filed an appeal against the decision of the Opposition Division to maintain the opposed patent in amended form.

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Cross-border injunctions in patent proceedings again?

Since the early 90s many discussions have focused on the possibility of a national judge issuing injunctions for infringement in another country, the so-called cross-border injunctions.

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Advance offering of generics found to infringe

In its decision of November 2, 2010, the Court of The Hague overturned a decision of first instance.

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The Netherlands are patent-friendly

Patent litigation is often conducted in multiple jurisdictions and in multiple countries. As the outcome of the first lawsuit may have a substantial or even decisive impact on subsequent litigation elsewhere, an early win can be crucial.

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Dutch constitutional reform and Caribbean IP

Admittedly, the precise legal situation when it comes to the protection of intellectual property in the Caribbean territories of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is probably in the blind spot of most Dutch patent and trademark attorneys. Continue reading

A technical problem to be solved

It is established practice that for judging the inventive step of the invention claimed, the problem-solution approach as developed within the European patent office is used.

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Absolute patent protection of naturally occurring substances

The patent system has been developed to reward inventors for their invention, and publication thereof, with a temporary monopoly on the commercialization of their invention.

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Legislator to decide on conflicting rights

Over the last couple of years, plant breeders have become increasingly aware of patent rights on plants.

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VEREENIGDE sponsor of Food Valley Conference 2010

On Thursday 7 October 2010, the annual Food Valley Conference will be organized in Cinemec, Ede, the Netherlands. Continue reading

EU-Australia wine trade agreement in force

On 1 December 2008, Australia signed a wine trade agreement with the European Union to comply with the geographical indicator (GI) system of the EU. This agreement entered into force on 1 September 2010.

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Avoid pitfalls in trademark oppositions

In 2004, the trademark opposition procedure was introduced in Benelux. Now, six years and over 470 (appeal) decisions later, it might be useful to consider some do"s and don"ts.

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More scope for European patents for methods of medical treatment

In its decision G1/07 (Medi-Physics), the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) has ruled that current patent office practice on exclusion of methods of medical treatment from patentability has been too restrictive.

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No absolute protection for gene sequences in Europe?

In the case C-428/08, the Advocate-General of the European Court of Justice recently issued his conclusion.

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G308: Enlarged Board answers no questions on patentability of computer implemented inventions

In its opinion G3/08, the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) declined to answer questions referred to it by the President of the EPO about the patentability of computer-implemented inventions (CII).

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Swiss-type claims no longer acceptable in Europe

Recently, the Enlarged Board of Appeal, in case G 2/08,issued a decision on the patentability of a method for therapy in which the new and inventive feature was a new dose regimen for an already known drug and medical indication.

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Use of a CTM in the Netherlands regarded as genuine use?

In an opposition procedure before the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP) in January 2010, it was held that the use of a Community trademark (CTM) in the Netherlands only is not sufficient to conclude that the CTM has been genuinely used.

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Green patents

The EPO is engaged in a joint study with the United Nations Environment Programme and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development on the relationship between patents and the development and transfer of clean energy technologies. Continue reading

Change of language of the proceedings is not possible

The EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal has decided that it is not possible to file a translation of the application into one of the two other official languages when entering the European regional phase.

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MIP Global Award 2010 for VEREENIGDE

On 24 June, VEREENIGDE will be presented a prestigious award in London: The Netherlands Prosecution IP Firm of the Year Award 2010.

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USPTO lifts restrictions on expedited examination of green patent applications

Further to our news item of 16 December 2009, the United States Patent and Trademark Office has lifted certain restrictions on the subject matter required for expedited examination of green technology patent applications.

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New EPO guidelines for using Internet disclosures as prior art issued on April 1

Part C of the EPO"s Guidelines for Examination published on April 1 now states that, as a matter of principle, disclosures on the Internet form part of the state of the art for evaluating novelty and inventive step.

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Accelerated USPTO examination for "green" patent applications

Accelerated examination is now available for at least 3,000 U.S. patent applications claiming "green technology" under a pilot program announced on 7 December 2009.

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New EPO rules for divisional applications

On 1 April 2010, new EPO rules for divisional applications will enter into force. The new rules introduce a new time limit for filing divisional applications.

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EPO rule changes - part II

In addition to the rule changes concerning divisional applications, which changes are explained in the news item "New EPO rules for divisional applications", further miscellaneous rules changes also will come into effect on 1 April 2010.

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The EPO and the WARF stem cell patent

The EPO will not grant patents for human embryo stem cells that require the destruction of the embryo.

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Strategic trademark filing in the Benelux and the EU

In filing trademark applications in general, the scope of protection ultimately obtained is generally determined by the designated goods and services.

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The Netherlands celebrate 100 years of modern patent law

In 2010 it will be 100 years ago that the Netherlands revived its patent system in a modern form.

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Presenting "the green team"

"Alternative energy", "clean tech", "green", and sustainable" are not only buzzwords - these terms now refer to activities that, if they are not already big business, they soon will be.

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Decrease in patent filings in 2009

Recent statistics from the European Patent Office (EPO) reveal a decrease in filings in the first six months of 2009 as compared to the same period in 2008. Continue reading

VEREENIGDE among top PCT filers

In their October 2009 issue, Managing Intellectual Property (MIP) ranks patent firms by the number of international patent (PCT) applications filed.

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Reduction Dutch corporate tax rate

As of 1 January 2010, the Dutch corporate tax rate on gains realized from the exploitation of know-how developed in-house will be reduced to just 5%.

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VEREENIGDE participates in Dutch Design Week

From Thursday 17 up to and including Friday 25 October 2009, the annual Dutch Design Week takes place in Eindhoven. Continue reading

ECJ decides on granting of SPCs

Ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on prejudicial questions.

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Novartis vs Actavis

Decision by the Court in The Hague in an application for temporary injunction.

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New EPO time limits for filing divisionals

The European Patent Office (EPO) has announced new rules for divisional applications entering into force on April 1, 2010 that set a time limit for the filing of divisional applications.

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Mind your agreements

In a recently published appeal case before the Amsterdam Court of Appeal (1), the court considered the implications of an exclusive distribution agreement on know-how protection.

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CTM fees fall by 40%

The European Trademarks Office (OHIM) has finally issued its long expected decision regarding the cut in fees. As of 1 May 1 2009, the costs of a Community trademark will be cut by 40%. Continue reading

Head office VEREENIGDE closed on 31 March

On Tuesday 31 March 2009, an international UN conference on Afghanistan wll be held in the World Forum Convention Center in The Hague.

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Michiel Haegens new Head of trademark section VEREENIGDE

As of 1 March 2009, Michiel J.A. Haegens will be Head of the trademark section of VEREENIGDE.

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USPTO Innovation Week

On 23 January, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that it is accepting applications for speakers and exhibitors to make presentations at Innovation Week (22 to 27 June 2009) to be held at USPTO headquarters. Continue reading

New location for VEREENIGDE Eindhoven

As per 23 January 2009, VEREENIGDE Eindhoven has moved within the High Tech Campus Eindhoven. Continue reading

Disclosure in China blocks Unregistered Community Design

All designs first published within the European Union can, in principle, enjoy a 3 year term of protection as an Unregistered Community Design (UCD).

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Public holiday closure dates

In view of the coming public holidays, all offices of VEREENIGDE shall be closed on several days.

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USPTO opens USPTO - EPO PPH Pilot Program to PCT applications

USPTO announcement of 10 December 2008. Continue reading

Patent limitation easier before the Dutch courts

The district court of The Hague has decided that the new European Patent convention (EPC 2000) means that patentees have the right to limit claims with fewer obstacles than have been imposed by Dutch courts in the past.

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New opportunity for speeding up patenting in the U.S.

Until recently, someone seeking a U.S. patent could not speed up the patenting process by a simple request. One had to show that there were special circumstances.

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BMM certified trademark attorney

Recently, BMM (Benelux Association for Trademark and Design Right) has introduced the BMM certification mark.

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Mark Einerhand new partner VEREENIGDE

As per 1 July 2008, Mark P.W. Einerhand will be appointed partner of VEREENIGDE. Continue reading

Costing system VEREENIGDE simplified

Today, the value of a company is increasingly determined by the value of its patent portfolio. Patent investment strategies have developed into integral parts of corporate strategies, with special emphasis on financial planning and cost control. Continue reading

Amended Dutch Patent Act soon in force

On 3 July 2007, the Dutch parliament (House of Representatives) approved changes to the Netherlands Patent Act ("Rijksoctrooiwet 1995"). It has now been officially communicated that new patent act will enter into force on 5 June 2008.

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London Agreement to enter into force on 1 May 2008

The London Agreement is due to come into force on 1 May 2008, since France deposited the instrument of ratification on 29 January. Continue reading

EPC2000 new filing procedures

The changes in the European Patent Convention, generally known under the name EPC2000, will enter into force on 13 December 2007.

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Changes under EPC2000

As mentioned in our newsletter of June 2006, the EPC2000 will enter into force on 13 December 2007.

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London Protocol: reduction of translation costs of European patents in major EPC states

France has recently ratified the London Protocol. As a result, the protocol will finally come into force soon, probably in the spring of 2008.

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Dutch Patent Act amended

An interesting proposal for low-cost validity analysis during the priority year

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The Benelux trademark opposition procedure

In 2004, a trademark opposition procedure was introduced in Benelux. Now, 3.5 years later, a large number of opposition proceedings are pending and a number of opposition decisions have been issued.

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Change of address Groningen office

The Groningen office of VEREENIGDE is relocating as of 7 December 2007 to a location slightly further up the road.

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Learn to share

Johan Renes, partner with VEREENIGDE, publishes an article on why knowledge-based societies and economies need to share IP information, and how they can do it. Continue reading

New website Chintellectual Property Foundation

Chintellectual Property Foundation has recently launched its completely renewed website. Continue reading

Dutch parliament approves new Patent Act

On 3 July 2007 the Dutch parliament (House of Representatives) approved of changes to the Netherlands patent act ("Rijksoctrooiwet 1995"). It is expected that the new patent act will enter into force by the beginning of 2008.

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Vacancies for patent attorneys

To facilitate our growing practice and ambition, VEREENIGDE intends to open a Munich office by the end of 2007. Continue reading

VEREENIGDE and Disk@d launch IP info network

In cooperation with Disk@d, producer of, inter alia, electronic publications, VEREENIGDE has developed a unique and worldwide IP information network: Virtual Value Network. Continue reading

VEREENIGDE "s-Hertogenbosch has moved!

As of March 9, 2007, the "s-Hertogenbosch branch office of VEREENIGDE has moved within "s-Hertogenbosch. Continue reading

The Netherlands implements Bolar legislation for generic medicines

A medicine may be placed on the market only when a special authorization to do so has been granted. To obtain such authorization, it is required to test the medicine clinically.

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Supreme Court allows reliance on examination file

In determining the scope of protection of a patent, the meaning of the claims of the published patent must be considered.

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Extension of SPC"s for medicinal products for pediatric use

On 26 January 2007 new Regulation (EC) No. 1901/2006 will enter into force.

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New office Vereenigde in Eindhoven

Since August 2006, Vereenigde has an office on the High Tech Campus Eindhoven.

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European Court of Justice decisions on cross-border injunctions

On June 13, 2006, in two related decisions, The European Court of Justice threw light on cross-border injunctions in patent cases. Continue reading

Requirement of certifying translations is abolished

With effect from August 1, 2006, the requirement that the Dutch translations of European patents be certified by a patent attorney will be abolished. Nonetheless, the quality of the translation continues to be of importance for the scope of protection.

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EPC2000 - An overview of the main changes

In 2000, a diplomatic conference was held in Munich to revise the European Patent Convention (EPC), which was drafted in 1973 and has been in force ever since the EPO began.

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Decision of Enlarged Board of Appeal on diagnostic methods

According to Article 52(4) of the European Patent Convention (EPC) diagnostic methods practised on the human or animal body are not regarded as inventions which are susceptible of industrial application within the meaning of Article 52(1) EPC.

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Board of Appeal - divisional applications

Several referrals have recently been made to the Enlarged Board of Appeal (the highest instance within the European Patent Office) concerning divisional applications.

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European Court of Justice rules against concept of combination of active ingredients

In a judgment of 4 May 2006, the European Court of Justice ruled against the concept of "combination of active ingredients". Continue reading

Frans Dietz chairman Vereenigde Octrooibureaux

As of 1 March 2006, the partnership Vereenigde Octrooibureaux has elected Frans A. Dietz as its new chairman.

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