Next step in the Tegernsee Process focusing on substantive patent law harmonization: broad user consultation

After reporting to the Administrative Council last week on the completion of the four technical, fact-finding studies carried out by the Tegernsee Experts Group, the European Patent Office is making these studies available to the public on its website.

On 4 October 2012, the third meeting of the Tegernsee Group, composed of Heads of offices and experts from the patent offices of Denmark, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, the United States, and the European Patent Office, was held in Geneva, Switzerland. The Heads took note of the reports on the studies carried out by the Tegernsee Experts Group, focusing on four issues identified as key to harmonisation: the grace period, 18-month publication, the treatment of conflicting applications and prior user rights.

It was agreed that the next step in the process will be to engage in broad stakeholder consultation in each region, based on these four studies. This will involve both user hearings and written responses to questionnaires.

The experts will report on the outcome of the consultations at the next meeting of the Tegernsee Heads, which will take place in late spring 2013.

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