The IP dialogue meeting

In connection with the opening ceremony of the Nordic Patent Institute, participants were invited to pose questions regarding the Institute to the Director Niels Ravn and other involved parties. Here is a selection of the questions posed.

1. The Nordic Patent Institute will issue an international search report and preliminary report on patentability within 3 months from the filing date. Is it always an advantage to receive such an early search result, isn't it a bit too early? Is there a risk of losing some new information by doing that?

Focus groups consulted in the project phase indicate that users want an early search report. They want to know the chances of getting a patent, and they want the search report published together with the application, in order to strengthen the provisional protection through the application. But the system is also flexible, and in particular in the case of first filings, the possibility for the users to request the search results later than the standards, is an option. The standard is that the applicants receive a search rapport in a PCT application within approximately 3 months of the filing date, and we count on being able to keep that deadline in 95% of the cases.

2. One of the competitive features of the Institute is the personal contact and flexibility vis-à-vis the users. How and when will this personal contact manifest itself in the process?

This is not fully in place yet, but there will be a hotline, which will enable contact with the relevant persons. We are trying to find a balance between the PCT system and personal contact by being as accommodating as possible under the restrictions of the PCT system.

3. One of the reasons why there are backlogs in the EPO is that the EPO is overloaded with filings. When and how does Nordic Patent Institute plan to help taking the load off the EPO?

The overload is a problem, which is bigger than the backlogs at the EPO. The increase in Asian filings will overburden the patent system in Europe and USA and we must try to find a final solution to this problem. The idea of the Institute is to brace local countries and companies for that situation, by offering them a quicker access to the PCT system, so that national companies have an authority to turn to. The Nordic Patent Institute is for the time being, a minimal contribution to the resolution of the problem, but it is a start.

The IP dialogue meeting