As part of FICPI’s Seminar Series, four afternoon seminars on the East Coast of the US in May 2020 are planned. FICPI will host a cocktail after each one to give attendees an opportunity to learn more about FICPI and how membership can strengthen their practices.

These in-person seminars will examine patent practice in four key areas and illustrate the differences between practice in the US and in other major jurisdictions, to help practitioners prepare their clients’ applications properly for global prosecution.

The areas chosen to focus on are:

  • Priority – the recent CRISPR case at the EPO has shown the issues that can arise when the formality and timing of an assignment of a priority right is not handled in accordance with the EPO’s current practice. In addition, the substantive assessment of entitlement to priority varies across the globe, which can affect the addition of material in filings at the end of the priority period.
  • Unity of invention – the USPTO operates under both restriction and unity of invention standards. How do other Patent Offices apply the Unity of Invention standard, and what else do you need to know about Office practice in this area to avoid being caught out?
  • Disclosure and grace periods – although many countries have grace periods, these can work in different ways from that in the US and exclude different types of disclosures. In addition, there is no effective grace period at all at the EPO or in China. How can this be managed, along with the different rules as to what counts as a prior disclosure?
  • Patent eligibility – with the ongoing discussion of this issue in US Congress, this session will review patent eligibility in other jurisdictions, including where eligibility is sometimes considered as a question of inventive step/non-obviousness.

The panel will include both US and non-US speakers, who will explain the importance of understanding key differences in these important areas when giving advice to clients. As is usual with FICPI events, there will be plenty of time for questions and debate on of each of the topics.

Each afternoon seminar will finish with a cocktail reception to allow for networking between the attendees and the speakers, and an opportunity to find out more about the FICPI global community of IP practitioners.

The present plan for the city and date of the seminars is:

  • Washington, D.C. – Monday 18 May 2020
  • Philadelphia – Wednesday 20 May 2020
  • New York – Thursday 21 May 2020
  • Boston – Friday 22 May 2020

This schedule is subject to change.

In addition, on Tuesday 19 May 2020, a delegation from FICPI plans to hold its annual meeting with USPTO senior management, to present FICPI’s recent resolutions and to discuss issues of concern to members and their clients.

FICPI’s view and involvement

FICPI’s training events and seminars offer a unique opportunity to gain insights from a wider perspective and to meet colleagues from around the world, cement existing connections and create new relationships. In-person events are run with top quality speakers in enjoyable global locations. FICPI has a vibrant and growing US national section.

Next steps

  • We plan to publish final details of the seminars towards the end of this year, along with details of how to register. If you would like to receive this information when it is finalised, please email to register your interest.
  • Get in touch with FICPI’s US national section or contact the President, Douglas T. Johnson on