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Directive should protect rights of inventors

Inventors should be allowed to patent their inventions for up to 12 months after information about the invention has been disclosed, according to European MEP Willi Rothley (D, PES) for the Legal Affairs Committee. On 24 February 1999, will be proposing to the European Parliam...
Inventors should be allowed to patent their inventions for up to 12 months after information about the invention has been disclosed, according to European MEP Willi Rothley (D, PES) for the Legal Affairs Committee. On 24 February 1999, will be proposing to the European Parliament that a Directive be introduced which would allow that.

At present, in all Member States, the rule is that an invention can no longer be patented when it has been made public before the filing date with the appropriate patent office.

Mr Rothley's proposal would bring the European Union into line with the USA where an inventor has a grace period of one year within which he can file his invention for a patent without suffering adversely from prior publication.

Such a Directive would particularly help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) - particularly those in the biotechnology field which often engage in joint research with universities and where an indiscreet disclosure of information by a member of the research team could jeopardise an entire project.
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