Friday, November 10, 2006

U.S., Japan and EU Start Discussions On Cross-Border Recognition of Granted Patents

Representatives from the patent offices of Japan, the United States and Europe have announced that they will begin discussions toward the introduction of a system for mutual recognition of patents. Under the proposed system, patents awarded in one country (e.g., U.S.) would be immediately recognized in the other regions (e.g., Japan, Europe) without further examination.

Heads of three patent authorities (JPO, EPO, USPTO) intend to sign an agreement at the Trilateral Cooperation conference to be held next Friday (Nov. 16) in Tokyo on setting up a working panel for the purpose. The standardized application forms are planned to be introduced for a trial run in the spring of 2007, with the official introduction planned for 2008.

The working group will hold its inaugural meeting in March 2007 in the United States to discuss issues regarding (1) problems involved in establishing the patent mutual recognition system; (2)possible revisions to intellectual property laws in countries concerned, and (3) what form the system will take.

While the U.S. "first-to-invent" system is one topic that is slated to be discussed, no word was given on the manner in which software and business-method patents would be treated among the participants.

You can download a draft agenda of the Nov. 16 user meeting here.

2 Comentários:

Jason said...

Precisely this question was posed to Mr. Curt Edfjäll (VP-DG4, EPO) at the recent EPOPIC 2006 conference. His response was something along the lines of "Not even being considered". Indeed, I can find nothing on the trilateral web site to indicate they are considering such a radical approach. The only thing under consideration is the utilization (not recognition) of the priority office's search results. This is a long way from mutual recognition of granted patents.

Two-Seventy-One Patent Blog said...

Thanks, Jason - I think that the near-term discussions will be geared more to a recognition of searching conducted by examiners. However, some comments made in the Munich meeting suggested that this was part of the larger effort ("patent harmonization" in the literal sense) to eventually get mutual recognition of granted patents. At best, this won't be seriously considered for at least 5-6 more years.


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