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July 27, 2014 // Tegernsee Symposium on the Grace Period

FICPI Continues its Support of Grace Period in Tokyo

For many years, FICPI has supported the idea of a grace period, protecting patent applicants from the consequences of premature disclosure of their invention. As early as 1983, by a resolution passed by FICPI's Executive Committee in Vienna, FICPI expressed its view that a grace period was a "matter [of] major importance not least to small and medium sized industries and to the overall economy". 

Similar conclusions were reached by FICPI and the AIPPI, namely that there should be a "safety net approach" with a grace period of 12 months, and no requirement for a mandatory declaration on filing of the patent application possibly affected by the prior disclosure. 

Between 1984 and 2001, over 30 countries, including emerging countries like Brazil, have adopted grace period provisions. 

Most recently, FICPI was a co-sponsor, together with the JPO and AIPPI, of a symposium in Tokyo, Japan (the "Tegernsee Symposium") to support the work of the Tegernsee Group, Tegernsee Group, an informal group of Patent Offices that have tried to move the harmonization of substantive patent law forward by making an empirical study of some aspects of patent law among the jurisdictions in Japan, the US, the EPO, Germany, France and Denmark. 

At the Tegernsee Symposium, Jan Modin, Special Reporter on International Patents for FICPI, welcomed the delegates on behalf of FICPI, and explained FICPI's support of the grace period over the preceding 30 years. Later in the Symposium, Jan delivered a presentation on FICPI's position. You can read the introductory remarks here, and read the presentation here, along with its accompanying slide presentation (here). 

In his follow-up report on the Symposium, which is available here, Jan concluded that, with the Symposium in Tokyo, the Tegernsee work on a grace period has developed some momentum for moving forward. However, there is uncertainty about the interest of European member states, EPO, and European industry in implementing a grace period. 

Finally, just before publication of this report, the Consolidated Report on the Tegernsee User Consultation on Substantive Patent Law Harmonization, reporting on the Symposium and its results, was published on the JPO website and is available here

Jan Modin
Special Reporter, International Patents
FICPI's 15th Open Forum
5 - 8 November, 2014
Barcelona, Spain
Sent by FICPI - Holbeinstrasse 36-38, 4003 Basel, Switzerland
Authorized by Doug Deeth, President of Communications Commission.