Access to the worldwide patent databases of the European Patent Office (EPO) is now available on a custom-designed mobile website at m.epo.org. This means it is now possible to search the world’s largest free collection of technical information directly from your smartphone. This latest extension of the EPO’s web presence appears to have been prompted by a user survey indicating that almost 70% of EPO online users would like mobile access to the databases.
The new mobile site does not yet provide access to all data available through the standard EPO patent database web portal, Espacenet, and currently no more than 100 results will be displayed for any given search, but the site is still in a beta format and is expected to improve over the coming year. Additionally, the mobile site does also provide access to the full European Patent Register, where the legal status and file history of many patents and patent applications can be explored in detail.
It will be possible to validate European patent applications and patents filed on or after 1 November 2015 in the Republic of Moldova. This follows on from an agreement signed by the President of the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Director General of the State Agency on Intellectual Property (AGEPI) of the Republic of Moldova in 2013, which was put into effect earlier this year by the parliament of the Republic of Moldova. Granted European patents validated in Moldova will confer the same rights and legal protection as national patents granted in Moldova. A similar validation agreement with Morocco came into force on 1 March 2015 (as reported here), and another agreement with Tunisia was signed in 2014 but is yet to come into effect. This now means that patent protection can be obtained simultaneously in up to 42 countries with a single European patent application at the EPO.
The fee for validation in Moldova is currently set at €200, payable to the EPO within six months of the date on which the European Patent Bulletin mentions the publication of the European search report, or, for European regional phase applications, within the period for performing the acts required for an international (PCT) application’s entry into the European phase. The validation fee can still be validly paid within a two-month grace period after this time limit, provided that within that period a surcharge of 50% is also paid. The fee may also be paid late, and with a 50% surcharge, when further processing is requested after loss of rights under Rule 112(1) EPC due to non-payment of the designation fee.