Total Documents: 21
The IP Federation recognises and values the ongoing contributions made by many of its former member representatives, some of whom have previously continued to be part of the Federation as elected vice-presidents. The title of “vice-president” is now reserved for specific positions within the Federation and is therefore no longer available for other purposes. The Federation wishes to create a new class of associate to which former member representatives who continue to contribute to the ongoing work of the Federation may belong. This type of associate is called a “policy advisor”. This policy is intended to set out the principles by which the Federation selects and engages with its policy advisors.
The IP Federation relies heavily on the work carried out on its behalf by the president. The Federation recognises that the burden of the office of president could be eased by appointing vice-presidents to assist with the duties of the president. The Federation also recognises that there is benefit to be had in continuity as far as the office of president is concerned. This policy sets out the process by which the Federation intends to select and appoint presidents and vice-presidents.
There are a number of patent harmonisation initiatives ongoing, some driven by the IP5 Offices and some through WIPO and the informal B+ subgroup. Most of these initiatives are concerned with procedural improvements aimed at making the patent prosecution process simpler to the benefit of the offices and users. However, since 2013 there has been a major push towards substantive patent law harmonisation driven by the chair of the Group B+, John Alty.
The Global Dossier (GD) project arose out of work initiated by the Trilateral Offices including that on the Common Application Format (CAF) and Common Citation Document (CCD), with the purpose of agreeing common procedures between the Offices. Both CAF and CCD have subsequently been taken over by the IP5 Heads.
In October 2014, the European Commission began a public consultation on patents and standards. The aim of this consultation was to gather information and views on interplay between standardisation and intellectual property rights (IPR) such as patents. The purpose of the consultation was to allow stakeholders interested in standardisation involving patents to bring to the Commission’s attention their views on:
–how the current framework governing standardisation involving patents performs; and
–how it should evolve to ensure that standardisation remains efficient and adapted to the fast-changing economic and technological environment.
Following major developments during December 2015, we can now report that the EU Trade Secrets Directive has moved to a near-final stage, with the final legislation looking likely to be passed early in the New Year. Although much remained to be finalised as recently as late autumn, a sustained push by the out-going Luxembourg Presidency of the EU Council led to several “trilogue” meetings in the early winter 2015, with a “provisional agreement” being reached on 15 December. The text in question was then released for public consumption on 22 December, allowing us to assess the quality and likely impact of the Directive. We can also report on the effectiveness of the IP Federation’s efforts to engage with the legislative process, which appear to have had a positive impact.
2014 has seen significant progress in relation to the EU’s legislative efforts on trade secrets. Since the December 2013 edition of Trends and Events went to press, we have seen: (i) the publication of the Commission’s initial proposal for legislation; (ii) negotiations within the Council of the European Union resulting in an agreed compromise text for the Directive; and (iii) early exchanges of views and draft opinions within the European Parliament.
In 2013 the IP Federation, based on discussions in the Patent Committee and at Council, has responded to various consultations and discussion papers from the UK IPO and EPO.
The Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP) comprises all Member States of WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) and/or of the Paris Union, and, as observers, certain Member States of the UN non-members of WIPO and/or Paris Union, as well as a number of intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations.
At its nineteenth session held from 25 to 28 February 2013 in Geneva, the SCP decided that the Secretariat should revise the document on transfer of technology (document SCP/18/8) by adding further practical examples and experiences on patent-related incentives and impediments to transfer of technology on the basis of input received from members and observers of the SCP, taking into account the dimension of absorptive capacity in technology transfer. Thus the IP Federation was invited, in its capacity as observer to the SCP, to submit such examples to the International Bureau on or before 30 June 2013.
On 17 April 2013, the Law Commission published a consultation paper on groundless threats. This consultation relates to their Patents, Trade Marks and Design Rights: Groundless Threats project. The Commission was consulting on two approaches to reform:
- The first is to build on the reforms made to patent law in 2004 and to extend these to the other rights. We also propose that legal advisers should be protected from liability for groundless threats.
- The second approach is to treat groundless threats as a form of unfair competition and to introduce a new and broader cause of action based on the Paris Convention.