Friday, 23 August 2013

Revision of German Patent Act Finally Accepted

Good News for DPMA President
Cornelia Rudloff-Schäffer

Both the German Bundestag and the German Bundesrat have now accepted the proposal for a revision of the German Patent Act previously discussed here.

The main features include:
  •  the possibility of online file inspection after the publication of the application,
  • an extension of the delay for filing a German translation of the application documents for applications filed in English or French language from previously three months to twelve months from the filing date or fifteen months from the priority date, if the latter date is earlier, and
  • an extension of the search report, so as to include a preliminary opinion on patentability.
The original proposal was modified by adding the exclusion of “plants and animals” obtained only by such methods “to the exclusion of essentially biological processes for the production of plants and animals" in § 2a (1) Nr. 1 of the German Patent Act to thereby address questions raised in the second referral to the enlarged board of appeal in the “Broccoli” case T0083/05 at the EPO.
Most of the amendments will enter into force with a delay of 6 months from the publication of the law, i.e. in February or March 2014 in order to allow for some technical preparations in the DPMA.

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