Patent law harmonisation

Document No: PUB 20R/23 Posted: 24 April 2024

Substantive patent law harmonisation (SPLH)

Since last year’s Review, there has been considerable activity in substantive patent law harmonisation (SPLH) .

In early 2023, the EPO carried out a consultation amongst user organisations, including hosting two seminars at the EPO. The IP Federation provided a response to the consultation and was represented at the seminars. .

In July, a plenary session of the B+ Group of nations’ patent experts was held.

The EPO gave a short summary of the results of its earlier consultation process. 79% were in favour of a grace period provided this was part of a balanced package with a “safety net” for third parties. There was support for “deep” harmonisation of prior user rights with objective criteria for these. From the EPO’s perspective the takeaways from the consultation process were that Europe was interested in SPLH and that there was a readiness and momentum in Europe to accept a grace period as part of an SPLH package.