Inventors often lose patent rights in Europe and many Asian countries by mistake. These losses happen because those jurisdictions impose an “absolute” novelty requirement: the invention must not have been made “available to the public” in any way at any time before an application is filed. Many inventors, particularly individuals and small entities engaged in commercialization, are not aware of the requirement or misunderstand the nuances of its application, and as a result inadvertently lose their rights. This is much less likely to happen in countries such as Japan and the United States of America, which allow disclosures during a specific time before filing, called a “grace period.”
FICPI urges the relevant authorities to come to an agreement, at the earliest possible time, on the institution of a global grace period of the “safety net” type, measured from the filing date or the priority date for a period of twelve months, without any requirement for an inventor declaration.
For further information, click here: ficpi_briefing_paper_on_grace_period.pdf