Report of the Harmonisation Committee

Filippo Santi (IT), Secretary

This report completed on 5th February 2018 covers the period since the previous report dated 25th August 2017.

The Harmonisation Committee deals with all questions concerning the worldwide harmonisation of Patent Law, and in particular within the framework of WIPO.

27th Session of the SCP

The 27th session of the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP/27) was held in Geneva, from the 11th to the 15th of December 2017. epi was not represented.

The meeting papers, including a Draft Reference Document on Exceptions regarding Acts for obtaining Regulatory Approval from Authorities, Updated Responses to the Questionnaire on the Term “Quality of Patents” and Cooperation between Patent Offices in Search and Examination, presentations shown during the meeting and the Summary by the Chair, are available on the WIPO website:

Basically, the SCP agreed to carry on discussions at its next session on the basis of the agenda of SCP/28.

The SCP also agreed that its work for the next session be confined to fact-finding and not lead to harmonisation at this stage.

The next session of SCP has tentatively been scheduled from July 9th to 12th, 2018.

Discussions on Substantive Patent Law Harmonisation in Group B+

Members of Group B+ met on October 3rd, 2017 to discuss progress made in relation to cross border aspects of client attorney privilege, patent law harmonisation endeavours, and to consider the next steps in moving forward in these fields.

The meetings of Group B+ do not involve observers, however various documents and reports have been available during the period reviewed. Thus, we can report that at the Group B+ welcomed the efforts of the Industry Trilateral and agreed that the Sub-Group on Patent Harmonisation would continue its engagement with the Industry Trilateral to promote further consensus on a package of international harmonised norms.

A meeting of the Sub-Group on Patent Harmonisation is proposed for April 2018 to review progress.

The meeting papers are available on the EPO website:

Updates on Group B+ Users’ Symposium

The position paper “Reaction of epi to the Industry Trilateral position” of 6 September 2017, referring to the document “Policy and Elements for a Possible Substantive Patent Harmonization Package” presented by IT3 at the symposium "Cornerstones for patent law harmonisation: a B+ Sub-Group/Industry Symposium" was published on the epi website:

Next committee meeting

The next meeting of the Harmonisation Committee has been scheduled on May 16th, 2018.