Editor note: Kevin Myhre will spend four weeks in Germany learning about the European patent process. Before he left the United States, Kevin wrote the first of what will be a series of pieces he’ll be writing throughout his time in Germany. To follow Kevin’s trip, visit Facebook.com/KevinMyhreInGermany.
New and useful.
These are the two universal requirements of an invention to qualify for a patent in various jurisdictions around the world. But beyond these most basic requirements, laws regarding patent eligibility, procedural considerations in obtaining a patent, and myriad other aspects of the patent processes in these global jurisdictions diverge. Variations in patent laws around the world, ranging from the obvious to the opaque, can be a major source of pitfalls in obtaining protection on an invention in multiple jurisdictions.
Much of my current work in the Barley Snyder Intellectual Property Practice Group involves the preparation and prosecution of patent applications at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. As a former USPTO patent examiner, I have an intimate knowledge of the rules, processes, and patent examiner quirks that dictate patent prosecution in the U.S. But that’s here, and many of our clients seek patent protection in multiple jurisdictions. Sometimes we send a patent application we originally prosecuted and filed at the USPTO to foreign firms to be filed and prosecuted in foreign jurisdictions. Sometimes we receive patent applications originally drafted in foreign jurisdictions and assume responsibility for prosecution of these applications at the USPTO. Although we have extensive experience as an IP group practicing at the USPTO, there is always more to learn about foreign patent law.
I’m embarking on a four-week internship/associate exchange/incredible learning experience in Munich, Germany, with Grünecker, a renowned patent and trademark law firm based there. Grünecker has previously sent one of their associates to work with our IP group in Malvern. During my time at Grünecker, which practices in both the German Patent and Trade Mark Office and the European Patent Office, I will be working with our German colleagues to learn the nuances of German and European patent law. Much of our mutual learning will come from working side-by-side, which will allow us to best discern the differences in our patent laws and processes and compare strategies for turning patent applications into strong, valuable patents. Sharing our expertise in our respective jurisdictions will improve both of our firms’ abilities to efficiently serve clients for patent applications in an increasingly globalized intellectual property environment.
I will be posting weekly updates here on what I’ve done and what I’ve learned during my time in Munich. As I will not be spending the entirety of my time in the office, in between the aforementioned learning I will be living life as a Münchner, getting to know our German colleagues, and exploring the Bavarian countryside. Some of that tourist material may find its way into my weekly posts. I will also be posting pictures throughout my trip at Facebook.com/KevinMyhreinGermany.
Follow along on this collaboration and learning experience that will certainly be both new and useful, and you can contact me at email@example.com.