The Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP) is responsible for carrying out normative work in the area of international patent law. It supports the global harmonisation of national patent laws. For example, the SCP negotiated the Patent Law Treaty, which standardises certain formal requirements in the patent application and renewal process.
The SCP's work currently focuses on the following five topic areas:
- patent quality;
- patents and health;
- client-attorney privilege;
- the exceptions and limitations to patent rights;
- technology transfer.
The IPI represents Switzerland in the SCP. It is actively involved in discussions and decision-making processes. Switzerland advocates further harmonisation of patent law, which would bring greater legal certainty for users of the patent system in a globalised environment.
The core element of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is the 'international' patent application. If, after filing an application in the country of origin, patent applicants wish to apply for protection in other countries, it is no longer necessary to file several separate national or regional patent applications. Instead, they can submit a single international application. WIPO administers the international patent application system.
The IPI represents Switzerland in the PCT working group. The PCT working group mainly deals with changes to the PCT regulations. The IPI plays an active part in the discussions and reviews whether planned changes to the PCT system are compatible with Swiss law. Switzerland supports a strong, customer-friendly and financially sound PCT system.
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