Open Forum on International Patent Law

Geneva, February 22, 2006
Media Alerts PR/2006/22

Questions relating to a broad range of patent issues including, in particular, the harmonization of substantive patent law will be discussed at an open forum hosted by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva from March 1 to 3, 2006. The forum follows up on a decision by the WIPO General Assembly in autumn 2005 relating to the establishment of a work plan for the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP) in respect of the draft Substantive Patent Law Treaty (SPLT).

The program of the forum and the list of speakers were set by member states. The program is organized around five broad themes:

  • Harmonization of Substantive Patent Law: Purpose, Approaches, Limits
  • Subjects of Patent Law proposed for Harmonization
  • Patents as a Source of Information and Innovation: Transfer of Technology and Licensing Practices;
  • New Technologies and their specificities, and
  • The Interface of the Patent System and other areas of public policy

Talks to conclude an international treaty that would harmonize substantive patent law have made headway since negotiations were launched in May 2001. However, a number of issues are still outstanding, and member states of WIPO have expressed divergent views on the future work plan of the SCP. It is expected that the forum will help to clarify the future of these negotiations.

The full program is available from: and the working documents of the SCP, including the current draft SPLT, Regulations under the SPLT and Guidelines under the SPLT, are also available from

The event is open to the general public and will be held at the International Conference Center Geneva (CICG). Anyone interested in attending the meeting is requested to complete the on-line registration form at

For further information please contact the Media Relations and Public Affairs Section at (+ 41 22) 338 81 61, 338 95 47 Fax: (+41 22) 338 82 80, E-mail: