Patent Japan

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Substantive Patent Law Treaty

On September 26, 2006, Nikkei Shimbun posted an article as follows.

Japan, U.S., Others Agree To Craft 1st-To-File Patent Pact
GENEVA (Nikkei) -- Japan, the U.S. and European nations are among 41 countries that have reached a basic agreement to draft a treaty for standardizing the patent approval process based on the first-to-file principle, The Nihon Keizai Shimbun learned Monday.

Confirmed facts are that;
- 41 developed countries, along with European Commission and European Patent Office, had a talk on September 24 in Geneva regarding patent law harmonization hosted by Japan;
- it was agreed at the talk that a draft text on substantive patent law treaty will be drawn up by the next meeting based on the framework text proposed by the chairperson;
- major requirements for patentability are included in the framework, including the first-to-file provision; and
- the next meeting, as a working group, will be convened in Tokyo next November.
(41 nations : Japan, United States, 25 countries of European Union (Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom), Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Andorra, Vatican, San Marino, Iceland, Switzerland, Turkey, Bulgaria, Monaco, Lichtenstein, Romania)

It should be noted that the draft framework text is provisionary, and could be subject to change in the future. Particularly, regarding the first-to-file provision, because patent reform bills are now on the table in the US Congress, the outcome is not certain at this stage.

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