WIPO Members Discuss Patent Quality, Public Health, Exceptions17/05/2011 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a CommentShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Much of our best content is available only to IP Watch subscribers. We are a non-profit independent news service, and subscribing to our service helps support our goals of bringing more transparency to global IP and innovation policies. To access all of our content, please subscribe now.World Intellectual Property Organization members this week are discussing potential new policies on patent law related to patent quality, patents and health, and exceptions and limitations to patents. The WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP) is meeting from 16-20 May. Also on the agenda is updates to a report on the international patent system, client-patent advisor privilege, technology transfer, coordination with the WIPO Development Agenda implementation, and a discussion on future work of the committee.The meeting [link to documents here] is being chaired by Albert Tramposch, who recently joined the US Patent and Trademark Office as director of international and government affairs after working as an industry lobbyist in Washington, DC.On the first day, delegates discussed a draft questionnaire on exceptions and limitations to patent rights. The last SCP meeting (IPW, WIPO, 16 October 2010) requested the secretariat to prepare the questionnaire.The draft questionnaire covers 11 sections: general; private and/or non-commercial use; experimental use and/or scientific research; preparation of prescribed medicines; prior use; use of articles on foreign vessels, aircrafts and land vehicles; acts for obtaining regulatory approval from authorities; exhaustion of patent rights; compulsory licensing and/or government use; farmer’s privilege and/or breeder’s exception; other exceptions and limitations.Some Group B developed countries suggested that there is a need to better identify the starting point for any exceptions before proceeding immediately into the questionnaire, according to sources.Among this week’s meeting documents is a summary of an experts’ study on exclusions, exceptions and limitations requested by member governments in 2009. The study provides an analysis of their use and provides a basis for discussion about the issue.Today, the meeting began discussing another key issue for the week: a proposal from Canada and the United Kingdom for a work programme on patent quality. Patent quality has been a focus of backlogged patent offices in recent years. The proposed work plan for the committee has three components: technical infrastructure development, information exchange on quality of patents, and process improvement. The short proposal includes a reference to its relation to the WIPO Development Agenda.“The quality of patents is a key aspect of how the patent system functions in order to deliver economic and social policy objectives,” the proposal states.On process improvement, the proposal said the primary focus will be on search and examination procedures, but could consider “relevant processes beyond grant, for example opposition procedures or the quality of applications filed.”Developing countries are once again wary of any effort by developed countries within this committee to advance efforts toward global patent system harmonisation. But several developing country sources insisted they are open to a fair discussion.The harmonisation issue can have a stalling effect: the last meeting of the SCP in October set the first work programme for the committee in five years.Separately, a proposal on patents and health is expected to emerge as soon as today from the African Group. Discussion on the health agenda item is expected tomorrow.Also in this week’s documents is a study on client-patent advisor privilege requested at the last SCP in October. The developed country proposal on privilege would extend protection of information shared to patent advisors who are not attorneys.Side EventsSide events are being held during the week. Today, Knowledge Ecology International will host an event on patents and health, with KEI Director James Love, University of Buenos Aires Prof. Carlos Correa, Judit Rius Sanjuan, the US manager of the Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines at Médicins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders), and Mohamed Gad, counsellor at the Egyptian mission in Geneva.Tomorrow, the Medicines Patent Pool with hold an event on “Stimulating Innovation, Improving Access to Essential Medicines in Developing Countries,” featuring speakers from the World Health Organization, UNITAID, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Medicines Patent Pool was seeking approval as an observer to the SCP meeting.Share this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)RelatedWilliam New may be reached at email@example.com."WIPO Members Discuss Patent Quality, Public Health, Exceptions" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.