Substantive Patent Law Harmonization in the Current Global Context: Issues in Comparative Law and Policy

Ms. Sylvie Strobel

International substantive patent law harmonization has remained an illusive goal for many years. The lecture will outline the history of this endeavour, attempt to explain the reasons behind the difficulties and highlight the changes in context over time. The most important elements of the draft Substantive Patent Law Treaty will be revisited in a comparative perspective, with special emphasis on the main items forming the "Reduced Package" last considered within the Group B+ Working Group I, such as first-to-file/first-to-invent, definition of prior art, grace period and mandatory publication of applications at 18 months. The current status will be discussed and the mid-term prospects considered.