FICPI, The International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys

FICPI Adopts Position on Patent Law Harmonization

19th June, 2018

FICPI's Executive Committee adopted positions on the three harmonisation topics currently being studied within WIPO’s Group B+, namely grace period, prior user rights and conflicting applications, at its recent meeting in Toronto.  . While the positions adopted in relation to grace period and prior user rights were largely based on earlier white papers prepared on these topics in 2013 and 2015 respectively, the position on conflicting applications was based on extensive new work carried out within FICPI’s Study and Work Commission over the last few years. 

The position adopted by FICPI in relation to conflicting applications is that the so called “whole of contents” novelty approach, without terminal disclaimers or protection against self-collision, is the best approach for the treatment of conflicting applications within a first to file system. While FICPI has explained this position with reference to the historical development of first to file systems, FICPI also believes that this approach is simple and predictable, well understood by IP practitioners throughout the world, and tried and tested in a number of major first to file jurisdiction, such as Europe, where it has proved extremely successful.  

FICPI’s paper setting out and explaining its positions can be found here. The Executive Committee also passed a resolution on conflicting applications.  This will shortly be added to the FICPI Resolutions Library.

Author: Michael Caine

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