Heads of office discuss patent law harmonisation

25 April 2012

Group photo from the Spitzingsee meeting (JPG)

A second "Tegernsee" meeting, attended by Heads of Offices and representatives from Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, the UK, the USA and the EPO at the invitation of EPO President Battistelli took place at Spitzingsee near Munich on 19/20 April 2012, with the aim of considering steps to advance patent law harmonisation.

The participants discussed developments in European, Japanese and US patent law which have provided additional impetus for harmonisation since the first Tegernsee meeting (Tegernsee I) in July 2011. They also took note of inputs from technical and legal experts (the "Tegernsee Experts Group"), and approved the Aggregate Matrix Document, an overview of national and regional patent laws in various jurisdictions. This document will form the basis of further work of the Tegernsee Experts Group. 

The Tegernsee Expert Group is mandated to carry out a detailed comparative analysis of these issues on the basis of the information contained in the Aggregate Matrix Document to evaluate the extent of harmonisation achieved and carry out studies on the following technical issues:

  • grace period,
  • 18-month publication,
  • prior art effect of secret prior art,
  • prior user rights.

The Tegernsee Expert Group will report on the status of their work at a meeting to be called in autumn.

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