Company Foundations and Patents: Collaboration between the Working Group on Technology Transfer and the Working Group on Licences and Technical Contracts
At the end of July 2012, the chairpersons of BIO Deutschland’s Working Group on Licences and Technical Contracts and Working Group on Technology Transfer discussed further joint steps on the introduction of a grace period for innovations in Europe.
The Working Group on Licences and Technical Contracts has been dealing with this topic for several years. BIO Deutschland called for the introduction of a grace period in its statement on the protection of intellectual property in biotechnology that was published at the beginning of 2008. The adaptation of US patent law to European standards at the end of 2011 (the introduction of the “first-to-file” principle) reignited the debate on this topic. Since its meeting with the Federal Ministry of Justice, the working group has devoted more time to the topic of a grace period. The group’s experts quickly ascertained that the Working Group on Technology Transfer was also dealing with this subject from a slightly different angle. It therefore made sense to pool the two groups’ expertise.
The chairpersons of the working groups concluded that data should first be collated to prove to what extent patent-damaging prior art documents have led to patents not being registered. The groups will then use this data to set up meetings with political decision-makers.