epi has successfully started with online learning

B. van Wezenbeek (NL)

In view of the restrictions that were introduced because of the Covid19 pandemic, epi has not been able to continue with its planned, in-person educational activities in the field of permanent education. This meant that all of the seminars that were planned for 2020 had to be cancelled or postponed. It is sincerely hoped that these seminars may be organized again, because epi is of the opinion that in addition to the educational aspects of these seminars, also the informal, networking aspect of meeting with fellow patent attorneys is important.

Nevertheless, in order to make training available in a flexible and efficient way, and to provide meaningful education to our members and students, epi has started to provide online training. Besides the successful epi “Life of a patent” online course (supported by the EPO), the first series of epi webinars was launched. These are based on the successful ‘Case Law’ seminar series. For this, four of the topics that also have been presented in these Case law seminars were chosen and adapted for a webinar presentation of about 45-60 minutes. In view of the fact that our members did not have access to any educational events in the second quarter of 2020, epi decided to offer these webinars for free.

This first series of four webinars has now been held. Chris Mercer started off by explaining the present situation on plausibility which appeared not only of interest to patent attorneys working in the chemistry and life sciences fields, but also to those working in other fields. Second was the topic of priority, presented by Leythem Wall. Priority has been discussed heavily in the recent case law of the boards of appeal and G 1/15 solved a long pending question on partial priorities. Leythem also presented the third topic on clarity and showed the application of the decision G 3/14 in the later case law. Thomas Pott finished the series with a presentation on disclaimers, overviewing the decisions of the Enlarged Board G 1/03, G 2/10 and G 1/16.

The interest in these lectures exceeded our expectations by far. Where, normally, webinars are held in the presence of a maximum of 100 participants we had more than 500 participants and because of this, it was decided not to provide the opportunity to ask questions or to open discussions on the chat. Instead, epi has now created a website where the recordings of these webinars may be reviewed and where, for each webinar, a separate forum is available. The forum is moderated by the speaker on the subject (at least for the first time), and questions on the subject may be raised to start a discussion on the topic.

This website, www.epi-learning.org, is planned to be open for all epi Members and epi Students. Any member may ask for being registered to the site with his/her 8 digit membership number (check your invoice on the yearly subscription fee if you have forgotten this number) and choose a password. For epi Students it is important to write the "A" of the student membership number in lower case. After logging in you will be able to access the recordings of the webinars and the corresponding forum. In case of any queries, please contact education@patentepi.org.

Lastly, because of the overwhelming success of these webinars, the ongoing restrictions due to the Covid19 situation, and as an alternative is desired to the normal educational activities, epi is intending to continue the series of webinars. It is intended to organize two webinars on novelty (‘novelty of selection inventions’ and ‘the importance of the skilled person in novelty’) in the third quarter and further webinars in the fourth quarter of 2020. Of course, these will be advertised timely.

How to access the new e-learning platform

  1. Go to www.epi-learning.org
  2. Log in
  3. To do so, enter your epi Membership/Student membership number as your user name and the preliminary password sent to you by email (students: please write the “A” in lower case).
    Should you not have received this email, please click on “Forgotten your username and password”. If this does not work, please contact education@patentepi.org.
  4. In the menu "My Courses", you find all course rooms currently available for you.

epi has successfully started with online learning