1. Extending the grace period and easing forms of disclosure
The existing grace period in the Act is extended from 6 months to 12 months and is not limited to disclosures made by applicants. The new provisions regarding the grace period would apply when disclosures are made either intentionally or unintentionally by an applicant, in the hope of further promoting the publication and dissemination of technologies.
2. Publication in the Patent Gazette is inapplicable in the grace period
Publication in the Patent Gazette is made with the aim to avoid duplication of investment in the same R&D project, or to make known to the public the exact scope of claims of granted patents. On the other hand, the grace period is set out to ensure that inventions do not fail the novelty and inventive step tests due to exceptional disclosures made prior to their applications. The two measures are obviously different from each other in terms of their scopes and purposes. As such, provisions regarding the grace period would not apply in the event of publication made in the Patent Gazette.
3. Removing the requirement for applicants to claim the disclosure at the time of filing a patent application
To prevent an applicant’s interests from nullification due their failure to state a claim, provisions requiring that an applicant “has to claim the disclosure at the time of filing a patent application” has been removed from the Act, to better protect the rights of applicants.
For corresponding revised provisions in the Patent Act, please refer to the link below.
SOURCE:Intellectual Property Office