Just in time for the summer break the EPO has brought forth its mobile site so you can keep in touch while away from your patent files. I was alerted to it by this tweet asking what I thought so I had to try it. First off I picked up the aged iPhone and browsed to www.epo.org and got the usual desktop site. I went back to the source material and read it again and this time I arrived at a nice clean launch page.
Who is this site for? initially I thought that I as a n agent was the target market, but clearly I am not. The selection of pages suggests that the media and prospective examiner recruits are the target markets. The job site is particularly good. Nevertheless the rest of this review is based on the utility for the professional agent market.
Now I had just received an email from a client assuming that £500 would cover their next renewal fee so the first thing I thought I would do was check the real fee to see quite how far he was adrift. I spend a lot of time clicking through to the fee schedule on my desktop. Law & Practice was a good option but then I ended up at my familiar schedule in an unreadable scale. Never fear I had passed another link to fees on the European Patent Convention page, this offered me the Fee amounts and codes and here they are. Even after turning the phone round, no fee amounts were available to me.
For most of the material on the incredible resource that is the EPO website, you do need a bigger viewing and reading screen so this iPhone test is perhaps a little unfair. Having a good readable presentation of the legal resources that works on a tablet (but not necessarily something as small as a phone) would be useful. So the things I would most like to be able to read are the Guidelines and recent cases. The register would be helpful too. What price to read it on Google Glass? Maybe the developers can leave that horror for another day unless I can wear GLASS TM at a hearing and use voice commands to amend and then print the amended pages of my patent specification.
Coming back from that fantasy, I would like the site to know what browser I was using and adapt to that. I don't know how that's done, but someone must have tried to patent it (I hope you refused it). OHIM made a big song that their site was accessible on all formats, so perhaps they will share.
As a final note and because I have been so cruel to OHIM about the frustrating shortcomings of their new website, I will finish this post by advertising one of its best features, the selective search window that lurks at the top of the screen. You might have thought it just searched the site, but activate it by clicking on the magnifying glass and drop down the hidden list to the left of the search box you can get straight to the register or any of the other databases without once being asked about opening another tab
Do share your opinions of what the EPO is doing in the mobile world.