Friday, 2 March 2018

Paper A 2018 Some explanation of our solution

A brief explanation of our choices
I will focus on the method claim shown below

The invention
The client’s prime interest is already expressed in [02] “our new method to create protrusions on the surface of glass panes. These glass panes can be used in VIG glazing”.

[06] Our new method allows manufacturing the spacers directly on the glass panes. No separate spacers needed; spacers are manufactured from the glass pane itself: simple, less costly, improved quality. No reduction of transparency.

That seems great. How is that then done:

[07] Spacers are made by irradiating the glass panes with lasers. This gives convex protrusions at the surface of the glass pane. Should be done at several locations to obtain a glass pane with several protrusions distributed over the glass pane.

The client summarizes this ‘new’ method in [13]:
  • irradiating a glass pane with a laser beam to create a protrusion at a first location on the surface of the glass pane facing the laser, 
  • solidifying the protrusion by terminating the irradiation, and 
  • repeating the irradiation and solidification at at least one location, different from the first location, on the surface of the glass pane facing the laser. 
Now we first have to check whether this method is indeed new and inventive.

It turns out that, in particular, D1 discloses all of this.

So we need to find additional features which have an effect in order to narrow down.

[13] In order to achieve good optical properties, it is essential that the protrusions have a convex shape (hemisphere, may be flattened at its upper part). Convex shape improves transparency by 20-40%. Other shapes only 10%. 10% can also be achieved by gluing a glass hemisphere to the glass pane.

It turns out that indeed D2 shows this 10% improvement.
D2 also shows convex spacers but not monolithic, formed from a same type glass. D2 is used for VIG glass.
D1 shows monolithic but not convex: irregular shape [04].

Thus, a claim on producing a glass pane for VIG glass with monolithic, convex protrusions seems to be new and inventive.

How do we need to change the method of [13] to produce such convex protrusions?

[18] As mentioned above, the protrusions must have a convex shape in order to achieve good transparency of the glass pane. It is necessary that the solidification occurs while a stream of cooling air is provided over the surface of the glass pane. A convex form can only be achieved with such cooling.

Thus it seems necessary to include the cooling in our method. We are then new and inventive and have already one key essential feature.

Other essential features?

Lasers

[08] Our method employs photo-induced absorption of the glass, see D1.

So far, we have the use of a laser in the claim. Is that enough for photo-induced absorption?

D1 [01], [03] make clear that such absorption can be raised sufficiently by a UV- or IR-laser. Just laser beam seems to be too broad: UV and/or IR is needed. Both continuous wave and pulsed lasers can do the trick [03].

Client states in [09]: contrary to the explanation given in D1, we did not succeed in our first attempts to heat glass to the working temperature locally with a UV range continuous wave laser. We have also had a corresponding negative result with a conventional IR range continuous wave laser. We think sufficient heat can only be achieved through a long irradiation time. Such a method would however not be economical.

It is difficult to decide on this. Yes, a safe choice is to immediately go down to a pulsed laser. It seems that at least a continuous IR laser technically works. A competitor may choose that option in order not to infringe. The client only did a first attempt. It is not clear that the UV continuous laser cannot work. So we decided not to put the pulsing in as a limitation. To avoid covering non-working embodiments we added, based on [09]: “heat glass to the working temperature”. We think that the skilled person can easily figure out what laser to use and for how long, since D1 describes the options.

Perpendicular laser

[12] If the glass pane is oriented perpendicular to the plane of the laser, the result is a protrusion which forms a monolithic structure with the glass pane with a circular base.
Should that be in the claim? We decided not to based on the last sentence of [12]: Such arrangements for irradiating surfaces with lasers are furthermore known to persons skilled in the art. So, he seems to be able to figure that out.

Height

Then we also see in [18]: It is known from conventional spacers in insulating glazing that the protrusions should have a height H of 100 micrometers or more for satisfactory insulation.
Should this height be in the claim? Not so clear. If the claim makes clear that it is for VIG glazing it seems not needed; it is known what height you need. If you do not have a link to VIG glazing it seems wise to add it.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Paper A 2018 Glass panes for VIG glazing

Here a quick first attempt at the claims (ignoring formal aspects).

We welcome your comments.

The DeltaPatents team

Jelle, Jessica, Nico and Sander

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1. A method to create protrusions on a surface of a glass pane comprising:
- providing a glass pane,
- irradiating the glass pane with a UV and/or IR laser beam to the working temperature of the glass pane to create a protrusion with a minimum height of 100 µm at a first location on the surface of the glass pane facing the laser,
- solidifying the protrusion by terminating the irradiation and providing a stream of cooling air over the surface of the glass pane
- and repeating the irradiation and solidification at at least one location, different from the first location, on the surface facing the laser.

2. A method as claimed in claim 1, wherein the laser beam is generated by a pulsed laser.

3. A method as claimed in any of the preceding claims wherein the laser beam is kept perpendicular to the glass pane when irradiating the surface.

4. A method as claimed in any of the preceding claims, further comprising providing protrusions on both surfaces of the glass pane, where the protrusions on each side are arranged substantially coincidental.

5. A method as claimed in claim 4, wherein the step of providing protrusions on both surface of the glass pane comprises, after having provided protrusions on a first surface of the glass pane, turning the pane around, and then irradiating a second surface of the glass pane different from the first surface of the glass pane by repeating the method steps on the second surface.

6. A method as claimed in claim 4, wherein the step of providing protrusions on both surface of the glass pane comprises using two lasers one on each side of the pane.

7. A method as claimed in claim 5 or 6, wherein both lasers are pulsed IR-lasers.

8. A method as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the step of irradiating the glass pane to create a protrusion comprises forming the protrusion against an obstacle element which is transparent to the laser.

9. A method as claimed in claim 8, wherein the obstacle element is sodium chloride or quartz glass.

10. A method as claimed in claim 8 or 9, wherein the obstacle element is in the form of a pane that is spaced apart from the glass pane on which the protrusion is formed.

11. A glass pane comprising protrusions having a convex shape with a minimum height of 100 µm and formed as monolithic structures with the glass pane.

12. A glass pane as claimed in claim 11, wherein the protrusions have the form of a hemisphere flattened at its upper part.

13. A Vacuum-Insulated-Glass (VIG) glazing comprising the glass pane according to claim 10 and at least one further glass pane without protrusions assembled spaced apart in a frame, wherein the protrusions of the glass pane are used as spacers between the glass panes and a space between the glass panes being vacuum.

14. The VIG-glazing as claimed in claim 13, wherein the VIG-glazing is triple VIG-glazing consisting of three glass panes; one of the glass panes is without protrusions and both other glass panes only have protrusions on one of surfaces; the protrusions on both panes being arranged such that they are substantially coincident in the assembled frame and the three glass panes being arranged such that they are spaced apart by the protrusions on the glass panes.

15. The VIG-glazing according to claim 13, wherein the VIG-glazing is triple VIG-glazing consisting of three glass panes wherein a middle one of the glass panes comprises protrusions on both surfaces of the glass pane; the protrusions being arranged such that they are substantially coincident on both surfaces of the pane, and wherein both outer glass panes are glass panes without protrusions.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Our attempt at paper A Dishwashing product


Paper A 2017 Dishwashing product  (paper here: EN, FR and DE)


Claims
1. Dishwashing product comprising a plurality of connected pouches, each pouch comprising a different dishwashing component packaged in a water-soluble polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) film having for each pouch a different thickness of between 10 and 50 µm; wherein the thickness of the film of a pouch is designed to release the component from the pouch during a selected dishwashing cycle.

2. Dishwashing product as claimed in claim 1 wherein at least one of the dishwashing components is solid and at least one of the dishwashing components is liquid.

3. Dishwashing product as claimed in any of the preceding claims wherein the thickness of the film is at least 20 µm.

4. Dishwashing product as claimed in any of the preceding claims wherein the thickness of the film is less than 40 µm.

5. Dishwashing product as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein the dishwashing component in a first one of the pouches comprises a first detergent and the dishwashing component in a second one of the pouches comprises a second, more aggressive detergent; the film of the second pouch having a greater thickness than the film of the first pouch for subsequent release of the detergents during a main wash of the dishwashing cycle.

6. Dishwashing product as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein the dishwashing component in one of the pouches comprises a rinse aid and the thickness of the film of the pouch is selected to release the rinse aid only during a final rinse of the dishwashing cycle.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

A 2017: first impressions of the first one-for-all A paper?

To all who sat the A-paper today:

What are your first impressions to this year's A-paper?
Any general or specific comments?
Surprising elements in the client's letter and the prior art?

How many marks do you expect to have scored?
What is your expectation of the pass rate and the average score?

How did this year's paper compare to the mock paper?
Similar difficulty level?
Did it meet expectations, in view of the video about the one-for-all A and B papers, the mock A paper and its examiners report?
Could you find the wording for claim features in the clients letter and the prior art?
Was the subject-matter well understandable, for chemists as well as e/m candidates?

The paper and our answers

Copies of the paper will be provided on this blog as soon as we have received copies of the papers, in all three languages (English, French and German).

The core of our answers will be given as soon as possible in a separate blog post.

We look forward to your comments!
Comments are welcome in any official EPO language, not just English. So, comments in German and French are also very welcome!

Please do not post your comments anonymously - it is allowed, but it makes responding more difficult and rather clumsy ("Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms Anonymous of 09-03-2017 09:09"), whereas using your real name or a pseudonym is more personal, more interesting and makes a more attractive conversation. You do not need to log in or make an account - it is OK to just put your (nick) name at the end of your post.

Please post your comments as to first impressions and general remarks to this blog.
Please post responses to our answer (as soon as available) to the separate blog post with our answer.
Thanks!

Monday, 20 June 2016

Examination Papers A and B – Examination Board made mock papers available

With effect from 2017, a single Paper A and a single Paper B will be set each year. As for current Paper C and the Pre-Examination, Papers A and B will be set in technical fields that are accessible to everyone. The Examination Board has made  mock papers available for Paper A (examiner report) and Paper B (examiner report). The examiner reports are currently available in English only.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Paper A Electricity/Mechanics 2016 - our main claim

Here it is. Our attempt at the main independent claim of A E/M 2016.


Claim 1. A siphon comprising a housing; the housing comprising:
· a reservoir,
· an inlet opening, and
· an outlet opening;
· the housing being arranged such that liquid can flow from the inlet opening to the outlet opening via the reservoir and fill the reservoir up to an overflow level of the reservoir;
characterised in that the housing further comprises a wall exposed on an inner side to gas entering the housing from the inlet opening and exposed on an outer side to gas entering the housing from the outlet opening; and
the wall extending at least to the overflow level to prevent gas from flowing from the outlet opening to the inlet opening.

The main problem in this exam seems to lie in covering 4 embodiments which fall into two groups (Figs.2 and 3 versus Figs.4 and 5). This makes it difficult to define the position of the openings and puts the pressure on a correct definition of the wall. This is particularly relevant since also in the traditional siphon of Fig.1 the wall of the tube plays a role in preventing gas entering.


We may post some dependent claims at a later moment.


Looking forward to your comments,


All blog threads allow anyone to add comments and already have a lot of valuable, interesting and sometimes surprising discussions between many candidates who posted their comments as well as tutors resulted from those.Any remarks, (different) opinions and questions as are welcome! Please post your contribution as comments to this blog, so everybody can paticipate in and benefit from the discussion/ explanation.


Please do not post your comments anonymously - it is allowed, but it makes responding more difficult and rather clumsy ("Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms Anonymous of 02-03-2016 14:56"), whereas using your real name or even a pseudonym (nick-name) is more personal, more interesting and makes a more attractive conversation.

Jelle, Nico, Sander

A-Electricity/Mechanics 2016: First impressions?



To all who sat the A-paper today:

What are your first impressions to this year's A-paper?
Any general or specific comments?


How many marks do you expect to have scored?
What is your expectation of the pass rate and the average score?

How did this year's paper compare to the 2013, 2014 and 2015 papers (assuming your practiced those)

The paper and our answers


Copies of the paper will be provided on this blog as soon as we have received copies of the papers, in all three languages here (English [available], French and German).


The core of our answers will be given as soon as possible in a separate blog post.

We look forward to your comments!
Comments are welcome in any official EPO language, not just English. So, comments in German and French are also very welcome!

Please do not post your comments anonymously - it is allowed, but it makes responding more difficult and rather clumsy ("Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms Anonymous of 28-03-2016 11:05"), whereas using your real name or a pseudonym is more personal, more interesting and makes a more attractive conversation. You do not need to log in or make an account - it is OK to just put your (nick) name at the end of your post.


Please post your comments as to first impressions and general remarks to this blog.

Please post responses to our answer (as soon as available) to the separate blog post with our answer.
Thanks!


Sander, Jelle, Nico