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Last update: 24/02/03
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epoline® : Patent Europe goes on line

The Union still lacks genuine legislation on the concept of the Community patent. A failure to agree – on language matters in particular – has caused discussions to fail yet again, to the great disappointment of the Danish presidency, which ended on 31 December 2002.

The European Patent Office, based in Munich, is nevertheless a reality. For almost three decades now, it has been compensating for this legal vacuum by providing de facto protection for intellectual property rights and inventions in the 24 European member countries.

The EPO, which handles some 150 000 patent applications a year, recently acquired a remarkable new tool which has brought it well and truly into the electronics age. The epoline® access system – whose operational validity was confirmed at the Nice (FR) conference in early December 2002 – is a new dual- use electronic tool. Firstly, users can consult on-line an impressive database of patents registered at the EPO (about three million documentary sources). Secondly, applicants for an EPO patent can now directly submit their own proposals for the rights to be granted.

www.isc-europe.com/epoline/

 
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EIROforum: harnessing excellence

There is no mistaking some signs. At an exhibition on the occasion of the Brussels conference, Europe's seven most important intergovernmental research infrastructures – CERN (particle physics), the ESRF (synchrotron radiation), the ILL (neutron resources), the EMBL (molecular biology), the EAS (space activities), the ESO (astronomy and astrophysics) and the EFDA (nuclear fission) – presented their respective activities on a single platform. This gathering of organisations that are internationally recognised centres of excellence in their own fields is a sure sign of the European Research Area dynamic at work.

The significance of this joint stand was also reflected in the announcement that a new EIROforum coordination body is to be set up for the further development of co-operation on points of common interest.

The EIROforum is particularly interested in creating new synergies and shared experiences. One of the most important is the role of its members in terms of employment opportunities in research and the attractions of European science at an international level. Another key area is the promotion of joint strategies for the development of the GRID and GEANT scientific networks. Finally, as each of these organisations is a 'showcase’ for big science in its own field, they will also have a major role to play in enhancing communication between science and society.

www.eiroforum.org/

 
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Nano: The Next Dimension

The distance from the Earth to the Moon measures billions of metres. The nanodimension is the same thing but in the opposite direction: taking our immediate environment as the starting point, in which the metre is the standard unit of measurement, you enter a world where the perception of phenomena is measured in billionths of a metre.

This striking image opens the fascinating science documentary film made by the French production company Ex-Nihilo. This surprising 26-minute film is a mix of gripping visual images and remarkably clear and informative commentaries from such learned European figures as Nobel Prize winners Jean-Marie Lehn and Harry Kroto.

At the Sixth Framework Programme’s launch conference last November in Brussels, this documentary was a resounding success among the audience of journalists who attended the screening. Commissioned by the Research DG, this short film can be shown by any TV station without having to pay any royalties. Copies can be requested from the distributor, DDB Focus Europe.

gerald.alary@ddb.be

 
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epoline® : Patent Europe goes on line
EIROforum: harnessing excellence
Nano: The Next Dimension

 

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The Sixth Framework Programme on the Internet

The Europa>Research site is at present launching a series of new pages to provide information on the Sixth Framework Programme

Principal access site

Several pages devoted specifically to various themes and 'horizontal' aspects of the programme are to be launched. Here are some to be going on with:

The Cordis server is also a very complete portal, designed especially to help research organisations to participate in the new Framework Programme. Among other things, the site has full details of calls for proposals.

Principal access site http://cordis.europa.eu/fp6/

 
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