Report of the Harmonisation Committee (HC)

F. Santi (IT), Secretary

This report completed on 24th August 2018 covers the period since the previous report dated 18th May 2018.

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

Meeting of epi Harmonisation Committee

A meeting of epi Harmonisation Committee was held at the epi Secretariat in Munich, on 16th May 2018.

It was agreed that epi would be represented at the SCP meeting at WIPO from 9th to 12th July 2018, see the report below.

The Chair updated the members of the Committee on his attendance at the UK IPO Stakeholder Roundtable on Harmonisation.

The participants discussed the Industry Trilateral proposals and epi position on conflicting applications (namely on treatment of PCT applications) and anti-self-collision.

IP5 Heads of Office and IP5 Industry

On 13th June 2018, the IP5 Heads of Office met with IP5 Industry in New Orleans, USA, to update the industry representatives on important developments and engage in a dialogue on IP topics of strategic nature, including quality and the further development of IP5 co-operation.

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

28th Session of the SCP

The 28th session of the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP/28) was held at WIPO in Geneva, from the 9th to the 12th of July 2018. epi was represented by Filippo Santi, Secretary of epi Harmonisation Committee, and Francis Leyder, epi President.

The agenda of the session covered exceptions and limitations to patent rights; quality of patents, including opposition systems; patents and health; confidentiality of communications between clients and their patent advisors and transfer of technology.

SCP/26 decided that discussions on these main topics, to be intended as a non-exhaustive list, will remain open for further elaboration and discussion. Without prejudice to the mandate of the SCP, the Committee agreed that its work for the next session be confined to fact-finding and not lead to harmonisation at this stage.

The meeting papers, including an updated draft Reference Document on Exceptions regarding Acts for obtaining Regulatory Approval from Authorities, a further Study on Inventive Step, a Report on WIPO’s Technical Assistance Activities in Respect of Enhancing Patent Examiners Capacity, Proposals made by National Delegations, Presentations shown during the Meeting by National Delegations and the Summary by the Chair, are available on the WIPO website:

The next session of SCP has tentatively been scheduled from 3rd to 6th December, 2018.

IP5 Patent Harmonisation Experts Panel

In August 2018, the IP5 Offices published the report of the first case studies (chemistry field, support requirement) on written description/sufficiency of disclosure.

The report can be downloaded from the IP5 Offices website:

Next committee meeting

The next meeting of the Harmonisation Committee has been scheduled on 13th December 2018.