World Intellectual Property Organization

SCP Agrees on Future Work on Patent-Related Issues

Geneva, October 15, 2010
PR/2010/666

The WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP) agreed on late Friday at the close of its week-long session from October 11-15, 2010 to include a number of key substantive issues relating to patent law and practice in its future work. Delegations from 86 countries, 5 international organizations and 25 non-governmental organizations participated in the session of the Committee, which was characterized by a very positive and constructive atmosphere among member states that resulted in significant progress in the Organization’s substantive agenda with respect to the further development of the international patent system.  

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry expressed satisfaction about the progress achieved and highlighted the importance for WIPO to be able to offer a consensus-based and a multilateral forum to all member states for patent-related matters.

In summarizing the work of the Committee, SCP Chairperson Maximiliano Santa Cruz from Chile said the SCP decided to include the following issues into its future work:

  • Exceptions and limitations to patent rights;
  • Quality of patents, including opposition systems;
  • Patents and health;
  • Client-patent advisor privilege;
  • Transfer of technology.

The Committee also agreed that the non-exhaustive list of issues first identified at its June 2008 meeting will remain open for further elaboration and discussion at its next session, and that four more issues will be included in the list, namely, “Impact of the patent system on developing countries and LDCs”, “Patents and food security”, “Strategic use of patents in business” and “Enhancing IT infrastructure for patent processing”. 

Earlier in the week, Professor Lionel Bently, Center for Intellectual Property and Information Law, Cambridge University, United Kingdom, who was the coordinator of the experts’ study on exclusions, exceptions and limitations, made a presentation on the study, and responded to questions from delegations.

The next meeting of the SCP is set for May 2011.

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