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Report of Patents Committee Meeting November 15, 2011 Kenji Asai Co-chair of the Patents Committee
Agenda of the Meeting Introduction of Members Reports of Recognized Groups WIPO Watching Reports PCT Working Group Report (Mr. Nagaoka) PCT WG 4th session on June 6-10, 2011 Mr. Nagaoka and Mr. Paul Harrison attended. Global surge in patent filings; e.g. Asian areas (CN, JP, KR) Excuse of delay in meeting certain time limits (e.g. natural disaster and the like) due to force majeure approved. SCP (Standing Committee of the Law of Patents) Report (Ms. Lee) The 16th session on May 16-20, 2011 Ms. Lee and Ms. Konishi attended. The CAP issue will be further discussed at the next session.
Special Topic Procedural Harmonization: Reinstatement of Rights (Part 2) Continuation of Discussion last year 3
Current situation of reinstatement of right; Implementation of the PLT (Ms. Konishi) Why remedy is necessary As human nature, missing deadlines could happen to anybody even under due care. However, this purely procedural mistake sometimes leads loss of a right in some countries, while not in other countries. Under global filing strategy, diversities for reinstatement of rights among countries creates pitfalls. Your assumption of “should be okay” is not always “Okay” for other countries PLT adopted in 2000 and implemented in 2005 Harmonize and streamline formal procedures of national patents and applications, including remedies for rectifying a failure in complying with a time limit (Articles 11 to 13). “User-friendly” oriented, but only 27 countries are the contracting parties and have not been utilized worldwide. PCT has been reformed in order to implement the use-friendly PLT provisions into its rules. 4
PCT Development and the spirit of the PLT By Mr. Matthew Bryan, Director, PCT Legal Division of WIPO There are 144 PCT contracting states. The PLT’s aim: harmonize and streamline formal procedures in respect of national and regional patent applications and patents, thus to make such procedures more user-friendly. PCT is connected to PLT from the beginning. Further rapprochement between PCT and PLT began in 2001 with the 1st session of the Committee on Reform of the PCT. One object of PCT Reform (2001) is alignment of the PCT, to the maximum extent possible, with the provisions of the PLT (e.g. restoration of priority and excuse of delay in entering national phase). 5
PCT Development and the spirit of the PLT By Mr. Matthew Bryan, Director, PCT Legal Division of WIPO (Continued) However, a number of countries, for each PLT-related provision, expressed the view that enacting these in the PCT would not be consistent with the existing national law. Therefore, “incompatibility” provisions were added to those PCT rules effecting the implementation of the PLT spirit. PCT Roadmap (PCT/WG/2/3, para. 18, 2009) states that offices need to eliminate inconsistencies in effect or processing of an international application due to reservations or notices of incompatibility with certain Articles, Rules and Administrative Instructions by States and Offices. There are about 150 such reservations and notices. 6
Matrix (Summarized data showing the status of implementation on PLT-like remedies for missing deadlines) Consolidation of Answers to Questionnaire. Useful for overview of the diversified implementation status. However, correctness of the matrix should be evaluated. Due to time constraint at the meeting, the Co-chairs requested the members to check the correctness of the data for their member groups. Discussion of Draft Resolution 7
Discussion of Draft Resolution This draft resolution was sent to the councilors before the opening of the APAA meeting. At the Patents Committee Meeting held on Nov. 13, 2011, this draft resolution was unanimously passed by the members of the Patents Committee. No substantial correction or modification was made (except that the date of the 1st paragraph was changed from “13” to ----15----.) The Co-chairs of the Patents Committee request the Councilors to discuss and pass the draft resolution passed at the Patents Committee meeting at this Council meeting, so that the draft resolution becomes an APAA resolution. 8
Content of Draft Resolution: This draft resolution urges that as many countries as possible should introduce into their own patent systems, PLT-like user-friendly provisions for rectifying a failure in complying with a time limit. 9
Thank you for your kind attention! Kenji AsaiCo-chair ofPatents CommitteeNovember 15, 2011