European Patent Attorney Antero Virkkala has been elected chairman of the Online Communications Committee of epi (Institute of Professional Representatives before the European Patent Office). The nomination can be considered a tribute to Finland that is the number one country in Europe in the share of filed electronic European Patent applications (over 98%). As the OCC chairman, he has also been appointed member of SACEPO (Standing Advisory Committee before the EPO).
“I accepted the tasks in order to promote simple and secure transactions between attorneys and patent offices”, Antero Virkkala says.
Virkkala gives an example of a plan discussed in the European Patent Office:
“According to EPO’s plan, patent applications should, in the future, be filed in a strictly structured form. Precisely defined XML codes would indicate where the description of the problem, description of the invention, description of specific embodiments, etc. begin and end. However, patent applications are often filed in a hurry, sometimes even on the same day as the inventions are made public. I feel we cannot take the risk that a feature that should belong to an optional embodiment in fact restricts the invention because of erroneous coding. Such a structured coding of patent applications is only necessary for the authorities. If they do not want to do it, they may outsource it to the attorney against a reasonable fee, but only after the application has been filed, which means there is no haste anymore. Large companies would probably be able to manage the coding, but for small companies, this would entail unreasonable training requirements.”Back