Press release: 2014 EFI Report – BIO Deutschland Welcomes the Call for an Introduction of a Grace Period

BIO Deutschland, the sector association of the biotechnology industry, warmly welcomes the suggestion by the Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation (EFI) to introduce a grace period in Germany in order to dismantle barriers in patent application. The experts from the sector association had already called for the introduction of a grace period in Europe in a position paper published a few weeks ago. This grace period would allow prior art documents within a period of 12 months before patent application in the European Union and the member states of the European Patent Convention. Currently, it is not possible to file a patent application for an invention if the inventor has mentioned his or her idea publicly, for example at a congress, or published information on it in a trade journal.

Viola Bronsema, Managing Director of BIO Deutschland, commented as follows: “We are pleased that the EFI has recognised this topic, which is very important for us, and also suggested the introduction of a grace period. In this way, the current problems with publication and patent application could be reduced. This would not only be important for inventors at universities, but also for innovative small and medium-sized enterprises, which would also benefit from a grace period.”

After the US and Japan, Germany remains among the world’s leading nations in terms of transnational patent applications. The introduction of a grace period in Europe would also represent a significant step towards the international standardisation of patent law. In addition, a grace period would further international research and the translation of research findings into marketable products.

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