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Tegernsee Heads Meeting

Tegernsee Heads Meeting

In response to the gathering momentum towards patent harmonization that occurred after the America Invents Act was enacted in September 16, 2011, a development which moves the United States from a first-to-invent system to a first- to-file system in 2011, discussions on harmonizing the patent system worldwide are being held through various international frameworks.

The 1st Tegernsee Heads Meeting was held among the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the European Patent Office (EPO) and the patent offices of some European countries (the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Denmark) for the purpose of launching a new dialogue on the state of affairs concerning international harmonization of substantive patent laws, a subject on which dialog had come to a standstill.

At the 1st Tegernsee Heads Meeting held in July 2011, the key issues for harmonizing patent laws were identified. These included the “first-inventor-to-file system”, “prior user rights”, “scope of prior art”, “novelty”, “inventive step”, “18 month publication”, and “secret prior art”. It was agreed at the Meeting that a group composed of experts on patent systems and operations from each patent office (referred to as the “Tegernsee Expert Group”) will conduct studies to compare both the patent systems and the operations in place in various countries and regions.

In order to enable Japanese companies to smoothly obtain intellectual property rights overseas for their inventions that have been granted patent rights in Japan, and to create a framework in which these companies can expand their businesses internationally and conduct research and development without worry, the JPO will continue to promote patent system harmonization by participating in harmonization talks at various international dialogues such as the Tegernsee Meetings.

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[Last updated 3 October 2014]

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