WIPO Member States Review Provisions on Patent Law Harmonization

May 27, 2003

Geneva, 26 May 2003

May 22, 2003

Member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) continued discussions on further global harmonization of substantive patent law. The Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP) made progress in reviewing provisions of the draft Substantive Patent Law Treaty (SPLT) which aims to simplify, streamline and achieve greater convergence among national law and practice in the examination and grant of patents. The Committee, which met in Geneva from May 12 to 16, 2003, was attended by representatives from 86 member states, five intergovernmental organizations and 23 non-governmental organizations.

The draft SPLT covers a number of basic legal principles that govern the grant and the validity of patents in different countries of the world, such as definition of prior art, novelty, inventive step (non-obviousness), industrial applicability (utility), sufficiency of disclosure and the structure and interpretation of claims.

The SCP made further headway in establishing a common understanding on several issues arising from differences that exist among patent systems. Provisional agreement was reached on a number of provisions on the understanding that any delegation could re-open discussions on these matters at any time in the future. For example, progress was made in respect of the introduction of a grace period in the draft SPLT. A grace period refers to a specified period of time preceding the filing date of a patent application during which the disclosure of the invention, under certain circumstances, does not affect its patentibility. On a number of other subjects, however, important differences in patent systems remain and require further reflection. One such issue relates to the extent to which the SPLT should allow contracting parties to retain divergent laws and practices, bearing in mind that the objective of the draft treaty is to harmonize patent law and practice. Proposals relating to the protection of public health, genetic resources, traditional knowledge and a number of other public policy issues, which the SCP agreed to include in the draft Treaty at its December 2002 meeting, were not discussed (see Update 180/2002).

The next session of the SCP is tentatively scheduled to take place in the first half of 2004.

For further information, please contact the Media Relations and Public Affairs Section at WIPO:

Tel: (+41 22) - 338 81 61 or 338 95 47 Fax: (+41 22) - 338 88 10 Email: publicinf@wipo.int.

World Intellectual Property Organisation
http://www.wipo.int

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

PhD Position in Archaeology and Cultural History

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

PhD position in Energy and Process Engineering

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

PhD position in Electric Power Engineering

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

Research Assistant in Business

University Of Chichester
See all jobs

Most Commented

Doctoral study can seem like a 24-7 endeavour, but don't ignore these other opportunities, advise Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman

Matthew Brazier illustration (9 February 2017)

How do you defeat Nazis and liars? Focus on the people in earshot, says eminent Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt

Improvement, performance, rankings, success

Phil Baty sets out why the World University Rankings are here to stay – and why that's a good thing

Warwick vice-chancellor Stuart Croft on why his university reluctantly joined the ‘flawed’ teaching excellence framework

people dressed in game of thrones costume

Old Germanic languages are back in vogue, but what value are they to a modern-day graduate? Alice Durrans writes