Report of the Harmonisation Committee (HC)

F. Santi (IT), Secretary

This report completed on 18th May 2018 covers the period since the previous report dated 5th February 2018.
The Harmonisation Committee deals with all questions concerning the worldwide harmonisation of Patent Law, and in particular within the framework of WIPO.

36th Trilateral Heads of Office meeting

The 36th session of the Trilateral Heads of Office meeting was held in Hakone, Japan on the 2nd March 2018. epi was not represented.
Topics discussed also included substantive patent law harmonization: the Trilateral Industry representatives reported on the progress of their work on a proposal for a package of internationally harmonised norms (on the grace period, conflicting applications, the definition of prior art and prior user rights), indicating they aim to arrive at a successful conclusion by late 2018.

IP5 Industry Consultation Group (ICG)

The IP5 Industry Consultation Group (ICG) is a new initiative to enhance the IP5 Offices' consultation process with industry further, and is comprised of representatives from the IP5 Offices, IP5 Industry and WIPO IB.

The group met in Tokyo on 1 February 2018 to discuss amongst others the work of the IP5 Patent Harmonization Expert Panel (PHEP).
Unity of invention: IP5 Industry appreciated the effort of IP5 Offices for alignment of practices of international applications. IP5 Industry requested that practices of national/regional phase should be in line with practices of international phase.

Citation of prior art: IP5 Industry and the IP5 Offices reaffirmed that eliminating the burden on applicants, which results from citation requirements in each of the IP5 Offices, remains a high priority for IP5 Industry.
Written description/sufficiency of disclosure: IP5 Industry supported the idea proposed by IP5 Offices to develop common case examples for each Office's guideline.
Future work: IP5 Offices and IP5 Industry will discuss new topics for PHEP in advance of the IP5 Heads of Office Meeting with Industry in June 2018. IP5 Industry requested that PHEP focus on harmonizing procedural issues.

The meeting papers, including presentations on ongoing projects, are available on the joint web site of the 5 offices: