Group B+

The Group B+ was established to promote and facilitate progress on key issues under consideration at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and in particular to move forward on substantive patent law harmonisation.


It is chaired by Ms Patricia Kelly, Director General of IP Australia, and its members are:

  • all members of WIPO's Group B,
  • EU member states,
  • the European Commission,
  • EPOrg member states,
  • the EPO,
  • South Korea.

WIPO and Singapore attend the meetings as observers.

The Group B+ holds its annual plenary session on the fringes of the WIPO General Assemblies in Geneva.


In 2014, a Sub-Group B+ was set up to assist the Chair, consisting of representatives from Canada, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Japan, South Korea, Spain, the UK, the USA and the EPO.

The Sub-Group has focussed on a package of outstanding issues, namely:

  • non-prejudicial disclosures/grace period,
  • publication of applications,
  • conflicting applications,
  • prior user rights and
  • prior art.

While views differ as to the elements that constitute best practice, substantial progress has been made on the definition of various principles and objectives governing the issues under consideration.

User and stakeholder involvement

The group attaches great importance to transparency and will continue to engage with national and regional stakeholders and representatives from the user community.

Documents published by the Group B+

A selection of documents published by Group B+ is provided below.


Documents published by the B+ Sub-Group


Cornerstones for Harmonisation: a B+ Sub-Group / Industry Symposium
Munich, 20 June 2017

Preparatory documents:

Symposium Presentations:

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