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作者姓名(中文):蔡碧欣
作者姓名(英文):Pi-Hsin Tsai
論文名稱(中文):從PCT 進入歐洲之專利申請與布局研究–以蘋果公司手勢專利為例
論文名稱(外文):A Study of Patent Portfolios and Prosecution entering from the PCT system to the Euro System-Gesture Patents of Apple as an Example
指導教授姓名(中文):劉國讚
指導教授姓名(英文):Kuo-Tsan Liu
口試委員姓名(中文):王世平
葉雲卿
口試委員姓名(英文):Shih-Ping Wang
Yun-Ching Yeh
學位類別:碩士
校院名稱:國立臺灣科技大學
系所名稱:專利研究所
學號:M10024010
出版年(民國):103
畢業學年度:102
學期:1
語文別:英文
論文頁數:158
中文關鍵詞:專利分析專利策略歐洲專利局軟體發明專利國際專利系統(PCT)歐洲專利分割
外文關鍵詞:Keywords: patent strategypatent portfoliosEuropean Patent Office (EPO)software patentsPCTinventive stepdivisional applications.
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近年來,觸控技術與生活息息相關,像是智慧型手機、觸控面板、觸控式螢幕等等,這些產品在人類生活已緊緊結合更密不可分。隨著蘋果這家公司在各大洲揭開所謂的專利戰爭,人們開始意識到專利的重要性。
長期以來,專利相關資料分析已經成為一種用於判斷企業價值、科技的發展指標,甚至發展成不同的分析手法與學門。然而,在檢視過去的文獻資料中,專利分析大部分著重的是Apple在美國的訴訟資料,或是以美國專利局的專利資料庫進行分析,而沒有針對其他有潛力的市場進行研究。然而,歐洲也是相當重要的市場之一,歐洲專利的申請費以及維護費也是出了名的耗費成本,無論在申請或是在各方面都比其他國家的花費明顯高出許多。因此,欲於歐洲受到保護的專利,除了必須是掌握關鍵技術的專利外,如何進行專利布局也是各企業必須面臨的問題之一。尤甚,歐洲專利局(European Patent Office)對於進步性的審查是出了名的嚴謹,尤其在「進步性」的判斷,更是建立了高聳的障礙,尤其在軟體以及相關發明,更是嚴格,讓專利申請人傷透腦筋。
有鑒於此,本研究挑選了34件Apple公司觸控技術相關專利,該34件專利選用平行申請的兩個系統:國際專利申請系統(PCT system)以及美國系統,其中有13件專利後續藉由國際專利系統指定歐洲為指定國進入國家階段,此研究將探討Apple公司如何在歐洲針對觸控面板的手勢專利進行專利布局。
本研究之研究方法為從國際專利系統的檢索報告到歐洲專利局的審查歷程資料分析,以期回溯Apple的觸控技術在歐洲的專利布局。
本研究結果顯示:(一)Apple善用國際申請系統進入歐洲,利用指定歐洲專利局為其國際檢索機構做出的國際檢索報告,偵測其相關的先前技術,及早研擬克服先前技術的策略,以及利用該系統在時限上比較有彈性的特徵,而有相對充餘的時間進行專利權力範圍的佈局。(二)在13件專利分析後結果顯示,雖然歐洲對於軟體相關專利發明依舊嚴格,但其門檻有降低的趨勢。(三)Apple善用歐洲分割案,除了利用分割案可後續提出申請的特性,將一些後續在歐洲市場成熟的技術寫進專利範圍,讓申請成本更於優化外更利用分割案當作所謂的「潛水炸彈」,讓競爭對手防不勝防。
Patent portfolios have long been used as the indicators of business value, and the development of technology. However, among the previous studies, some merely focus on the analysis of the patent portfolios in US or on the analysis of the information from litigation.
It is known that Europe is one of the important markets in the world and that it requires a huge amount of money to afford a patent in Europe. Thus, on the one hand, the patent who expects to receive the protection in Europe is undoubtedly an important asset to the company itself. On the other hand, how to select the optimized route which helps balance the cost and the quality to enter the competitive market of the Europe is also an important task for patent applicants. Additionally, European patent office (EPO) is well-known for its strict examination on the software and the relevant inventions, especially on the criteria of inventive steps in EPO. Thus, the gesture patents of Apple have been selected. Since Apple has gained much experience in deciding the best strategies in many continents over the years and has launched the so-called "war" in applying for patents, this research aims at analyzing Apple's strategies of applying for patents in Europe. The results are expected to set an index for the industries, especially the small and medium enterprises in Taiwan.
Therefore, in this study, Apple’s 34 gesture patent applications which used bi-system, namely the parallel filing with USPTO and PCT, have been selected. More specifically, among the 34 applications, the 13 applications that were designated to enter the national stage of Europe and were under the examination of EPO were closely investigated.
The objectives in this study, therefore, are to take Apple as an example to derive the strategy taken by Apple via analyzing the patent applications of Apple which entered from the PCT system to the Euro system, to examine how Apple has overcome the examining issues of EPO, and to identify Apple's strategy of filing several divisional applications during the prosecution period in EPO.
The result of this study shows that Apple used the PCT system to enter Europe and designated European Patent Office to conduct international search. It is found that some divisions are based on the unity concerns of international search report; however, some divisions were simply automatically being divided. Thus, it is believed that by using the PCT system, the applicants can have sufficient time to plan their strategy, since EPO is known for its high quality and fast search skilled. In this study, it is also found that the obscure inventive steps in EPO tend to be more open to the software and relations inventions. It is further found that Apple used the divisional application in order to overcome the unity problems. Moreover, the results show that Apple expects to wait and see how the market goes and decides which inventions to be patented. Thus, for the third party, it may be like an “invisible bomb” to them.
Keywords: patent strategy, patent portfolios, European Patent Office (EPO), software patents, PCT, inventive step, divisional applications.
AbstractI
摘要II
AcknowledgmentsIII
Table of ContentsIV
List of Tables and FiguresVI
Chapter I Introduction1
1.1Background and Motivation1
1.2Literature Review3
1.2.1References related to the Patent Portfolio Analysis and its Strategy3
1.2.2References Related to the Filing Strategy and the Patentability in Europe6
1.3Methodology9
1.4Scope and Contents10
1.5 Summary of Chapter I11
Chapter II Selecting the First Filing Office and ISA in PCT System13
2.1 Introduction13
2.2 An overview of PCT system14
2.2.1 Introduction14
2.2.2 The features of the PCT system15
2.2.3 PCT Procedures15
2.2.4 The International Search17
2.3 A Popular route for US companies17
2.4 Euro-PCT applications entering the European phase20
2.4.1 Supplementary European Search Report20
2.4.2 The requirements of claims of EPO21
2.5 Summary of Chapter II22
Chapter III From PCT to European phase24
3.1 Introduction24
3.2 International Search Report conducted by EPO30
3.2.1 The General overview of the results of search report and the comparison of the claims structure between the PCT applications and the US applications30
3.2.2 Summary of section 3.234
3.3 Reducing the number of claims for entering the European phase38
3.4 Office Action of EPO and the Response under International Search Report42
3.5 Summary of Chapter III54
Chapter IV Prosecution of Novelty and Inventive Step in EPO56
4.1 Introduction56
4.2 Novelty and Inventive Step in EPO57
4.2.1 Examination of Novelty57
4.2.2 The “problem-solution-approach,” a known method to assess inventive Step in EPO57
4.3 How to overcome objections of novelty and inventive steps during the European Examination59
4.4 Why patent applications have been refused in EPO77
4.5 Summary of Chapter IV89
Chapter V The Unity of the Invention and the Divisional application in EPO93
5.1 Introduction93
5.2 European Divisional Applications94
5.2.1 When to file European divisional application94
5.2.2 Additional remarks on the divisional applications in EPO95
5.3 How to overcome the lack of unity of invention95
5.4 The divisional application without a lack of unity invention118
5.5 Summary of Chapter V134
5.5.1 Comments provided for those having problems regarding unity135
5.5.2 Comments provided for those who expect to file voluntary divisions136
5.5.3 Summarized comments of Chapter V138
Chapter VI Summary and Further prospects140
6.1 Summary140
6.1.1 The Filing Strategy adopted by Apple140
6.1.2 Apple’s strategy for arranging the claims to enter Europe141
6.1.3 The inventive step for gesture inventions of Apple in EPO142
6.1.4 The strategy of using divisional divisions142
6.2 Future Prospect143
References144
Books

1.The United States of Patents and Trade Mark Office. (2012). Manual of patent examining procedure (8th ed.).United States of America: The United States of Patents and Trade Mark Office.
2.Goddar, H., & Apppelt, C. W. (2012).EPC guide for practitioners (4thed.). Germany: Boehmert & Boehmert.
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7.Knight, H.J.(2001). Patent strategy for researchers and research managers (7thed.).New York: John Wiley & Sons LTD.
8.Guellec, D., &van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, B. (2007). The economics of the European patent system. New York: Oxford University Press.

Master’s Thesis

1.Tsai, M.Y. (2012). A comparative study of American and European business method patents. National Chung Cheng University.(Master's thesis). Retrieved from National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations in Taiwan.
2.Chen, S.C. (2007). The determination of inventive step-the review of Taiwan supreme administrative court's opinion on patent validity by European problem / solution approach. Shih Hsin University.(Master's thesis). Retrieved from National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations in Taiwan.
3.Yang, C.Y. (2006). A study on the patent law requirement of non-obviousness or inventive-step. Shih Hsin University.(Master's thesis). Retrieved from National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations in Taiwan.
4.Jung, J.K. (2011). A study on the strategic deployment of patents and its applications for high-tech companies. National Taiwan University. (Master's thesis). Retrieved from National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations in Taiwan.
5.Chao, C.C. (2013). An enterprise patent portfolio and lawsuit strategy analysis: a case study about mobile smart devices. National Cheng Kung University. (Master's thesis). Retrieved from National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations in Taiwan.
6.Huang, Y. H. (2013). Smartphone patent analysis- take Apple、Samsung、HTC three companies for example. Yuan Ze University. (Master's thesis). Retrieved from National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations in Taiwan.
7.Chen, C.H. (2013). Use patent litigations to explore the market competition of Taiwan's smartphone industry: the discussion of the corporate strategy layouts of Apple, Samsung and HTC. Tunghai University. (Master's thesis). Retrieved from National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations in Taiwan.
8.Chen, C.Y. (2012). Patent analysis of various IPRs relationships among smartphone firms in the North America region. National Taiwan University. (Master's thesis). Retrieved from National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations in Taiwan.
9.Tsai, C.H. (2012). Development of trend of engineering system evolution on patent analysis. National Taiwan University. (Master's thesis). Retrieved from National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations in Taiwan.
10.Ko, C. I. (2011). A study of claim analysis and patent strength analysis in e-paper Technology. National Taiwan University of Science and Technology. (Master's thesis). Retrieved from National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations in Taiwan.
11.Liu, S.Y. (2011). A study of claim analysis and patent strength analysis in touch technology. National Taiwan University of Science and Technology.(Master's thesis). Retrieved from National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations in Taiwan.
12.Hsu, L. C. (2012). A study of patent portfolios in touch panel gestures of Apple incorporated. National Taiwan University of Science and Technology. (Master's thesis). Retrieved from National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations in Taiwan.

Journal Articles, Papers

1.Frietsch, R., Neuhausler, P., & Rothengatter, O. (2013).Which road to take? Filing routes to the European Patent Office. World Patent Information, 35(1), 8-19.
2.Abbott, A. (1995). Costs discourage European patents. Nature, 375(6529), 270-271.
3.Nettleton, E. (2010). Software patentability ruling from the European Patent Office’s enlarged board. Journal of Database Marketing & Customer Strategy Management, 17(3-4), 267-270.
4.Abnett, R., & Millburn, J., &Sadler, P. (2010). How thinly can you slice an invention? How to avoid double-patenting objections on EPO divisional applications (European Patent Office). Patent World, Issue 219, 28-31.
5.Willoughby, K.W. (2013). What impact does intellectual property have on the business performance of technology firms? International Journal of Intellectual Property Management,6(4), 316-338.
6.Belenzon, S., & Patacconi, A. (2013). Innovation and firm value: An investigation of the changing role of patents 1985-2007. Research Policy, 42(8), 1496-1510.
7.Luo, S., & Zhao, H. (2013). Commercial success criterion in business method patent's non-obviousness judgment. WIT Transactions on Information and Communication Technologies, 46(2), 1637-1642.
8.Felix D., & Hingley, P. (2013). Predictive accuracy of survey-based forecasts for numbers of filings at the European Patent Office. World Patent Information, 35(3), 187–200.
9.Malva, A.D., & Hussinger, K. (2012). Corporate science in the patent system: An analysis of the semiconductor technology. Journal of Economic Behavior &Organization, 84(1), 118–135.
10.Tanaka, Y., & Wang, D.J. (2011). Granted patents have the same level of inventive step? A new approach to distinguish patent protection based on the level of inventive step. International Journal of Intellectual Property Management, 4(4), 270-282.
11.van Zeebroeck, N., & de la Potterie, B.P.(2008). Filing strategies and patent value. Economics of Innovation and New Technology, 20(6), 539-561.
12.Stellmach, J.A. (2011). Assessment of inventive step for organic chemical reactions: Structure-reactivity-relationships in the frame of the problem-solution approach (PSA). World Patent Information, 33(1), 11-15.
13.Lazardis, G., & Van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, B. (2007). The rigor of EPO’s patentability criteria: an insight into the “induced withdrawals.” World Patent Information, 29(4), 317-326.
14.Scott, J.R.M., & de Jonge, S. (2009). When is a search not a search? Part 3 - The worst of the worst: When complex applications also lack unity. World Patent Information, 31(3), 190-192.
15.Engelfriet, A. (2009). The mess that is the European software patent, Journal of Internet Banking and Commerce, 14(2), 1-3.
16.Blind, K., Cremers, K., &Mueller, E. (2009). The influence of strategic patenting on companies' patent portfolios. Research Policy, 38(2),428-436.
17.Jetter, N., Quinones, E., & Zachariades, N. (2008). Developing a strategy for foreign patent filing. Optics and Photonics News, 19(9), 8-9.
18.Van Zeebroeck, N., Stevnsborg, N., van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, B., Guellec, D., &Archontopoulos, E. (2008). Patent inflation in Europe. World Patent Information, 30(1), 43-52.
19.Liu, K. & Wang, C. (2013). A technical analysis of autonomous floor cleaning robots based on US granted patents. European International Journal of Science and Technology, 2(7), 199-216.
20.Liu, K. & Yen, Y. (2013). A quick approach to get a technology-function matrix for an interested technical topic of patents. European International Journal of Science and Technology, 2(6), 85-96.
21.劉國讚、許秝禎 (民102)。現代國際專利申請策略之分析─以Apple公司的手勢專利為例。專利師,第15期,頁17-40。
22.劉國讚(民96)。歐洲專利及歐洲專利司法制度之調和化進展之研究。智慧財產權月刊,107期,頁62-83。

Newspaper and Media

1.Cao, C. (2013, April 19). A political tool that violates market principles. LianheZaobao, p.13.
2.Weber,M., & Leguizamon–Morales, D. (2013, Oct 28).The EPO rescinds its current practice for divisional filings. Mondaq Business Briefing. Retrieved from: http://www.martindale.com/intellectual-property-law/article_Jones-Day_2008324.htm
3.Barraclough, E. (2010, Sept 01). EPO defends changes to rules on divisionals. Managing Intellectual Property. Retrieved from:
http://www.managingip.com/Article/2659955/EPO-defends-changes-to-rules-on-divisionals.html
4.Brinckerhoff, C.C. (2013, Oct 25). It's back to the future for the EPO divisional application deadline rules. Mondaq Business Briefing. Retrieved from:
(http://www.foley.com/its-back-to-the-future-for-the-epo-divisional-application-deadline-rules-10-21-2013/)




Conference Presentations and Interviews

1.Goddar, H.(2013, July).To patent or not to patent – How German SMEs anduniversities. Paper presented atWIPO regional consultation meeting on technology transfer: The development agenda project on intellectual property and technology transfer – Common challenges – Building solutions, Singapore.
2.Reed,D. (2011). Strategic use of the PCT: A user’s perspective. Retrieved from World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) website: http://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/pct/en/pct_strategies/strategic_use_users_perspective.pdf
3.Lucke, A. (2013, August 27).Personal interview.
4.Kretschmann, D. (2013, August 28). Personal interview.
5.Goddar, H. (2013, August 29). Personal interview.
 
 
 
 
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