The AIPPI World Congress is being held this week in Cancun with delegates attending from around the globe. For those not familiar with AIPPI, it is a non-profit organisation having as its objective the improvement and promotion of intellectual property on both international and national bases.
I have been a member of the AIPPI UK group for several years now and am always interested in the "study questions" debated each year at the AIPPI congress. These working questions seek to address important issues across a range of IP topics and aim to stimulate debate at an international level.
At the congress this week, patent practitioners from around the world have been discussing the complex question of "conflicting patent applications", namely the prior art effect of a first patent application filed before but published after a second patent application. As noted below, different national laws deviate significantly with respect to conflicting patent applications and this can result in different prior art effects of the same document(s) in different jurisdictions.
One of AIPPI's goals in debating important IP topics at the annual congress is to produce "Resolutions", which propose solutions for harmonisation in difficult areas. For those keen to understand more about conflicting patent applications, I would strongly encourage you to consult the AIPPI website after the annual meeting for details of the Resolution relating to this topic.
For those interested in IP topics beyond patents, AIPPI Resolutions will be available after the congress relating to Partial designs, Registrability of 3D trademarks and Joint liability for IP infringement.
Finally, if AIPPI is an organisation that appeals to you, it is worth noting that events are held throughout the year and the AIPPI 2019 Congress will be held in London!
How do applications that have an earlier filing or priority date, but which have not been published, affect patentability of a later filed application? In some jurisdictions, a prior filed, later published application is relevant both for considerations of novelty and obviousness or inventive step. In others, such an application is relevant for novelty only. Some jurisdictions take a middle ground: such applications are relevant for novelty and “enlarged novelty,” i.e. applications for inventions that differ from the prior application in a manner which does not go beyond common general knowledge may be rejected. Further, some jurisdictions will reject later filed applications filed by the same applicant over their own prior filed, later published applications while others provide for “anti-self collision”.