Delegation of the European Union to the

UN and other international organisations in Geneva

EU Statement: Standing Committee on the Law of Patents 29th Session (WIPO, Geneva, 3-6 December 2018) - Exceptions and limitations to patent rights

Geneva, 11/12/2018 - 10:38, UNIQUE ID: 181211_9
Statements on behalf of the EU

EU Statement: Standing Committee on the Law of Patents 29th Session (WIPO, Geneva, 3-6 December 2018) - Exceptions and limitations to patent rights

Mr. Chair,


  1. The EU and its Member States would like to thank the WIPO Secretariat for providing document SCP/29/3 on the research exception. We acknowledge the great amount of work dedicated on this issue and have studied it with greatest interest.


  1.  As already stated on previous documents on various exception issues we also want to emphasize on this document the broad information and resource base it has been drawn from, namely international legal framework as well as inputs by Member States and Regional Patent Offices. We highly estimate the valuable output delivered by it.


  1. The document provides an excellent insight into this topic as well as an understanding regarding its genesis. As the research exception is one of the most widely adopted exceptions in patent laws we especially appreciate the compilation of the concrete wording of the exception in more than 100 countries and Regional Patent Organizations. This proves to be very helpful in knowing and understanding different legal practices.


  1. The document illustrates that although there is a broad common sense on the exception itself and there are common components of the exception among national laws, differences among those provisions in terms of their expression can result in different interpretation and coverage of the exception.


  1. We took note of the rationale behind different patent laws and the goals they aim to achieve.


  1. For example the document revealed that in some countries the applicability of the research exception depends on the commercial intent of the third Party.


  1. As regards the challenges the document discovers that most Member States have encountered no particular challenges related to the practical implementation of the exception while others noted that there was uncertainty over the scope of the exception which in some countries resulted in legislative challenges.


  1. The document shows that clarity in the scope of the exception would ensure legal certainty and predictability for patentees and third parties.


  1. We are highly interested in learning more about the economic dimension of the research exception as well as on the impact of the exception in general.


  1. Although it does not seem that currently there is a need for normative work to be carried out on this issue the EU and its Member States are always prepared to support initiatives which lead to a better understanding, more legal certainty and thus are beneficial for our economies.


  1. In this sense we are looking forward to further exchanging views and having interesting and fruitful discussions on this issue.


Thank you. 


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