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小議不喪失新穎性的寬限

對專利申請人、專利代理行業的從業人員來說,“新穎性”定是如雷貫耳般響當當的存在。審查員認定專利不可授權的時候,經常以“發明創造不具備新穎性”為理由。如若是被他人的在先專利、在先技術所披露還則罷了,如若是因為自己的“疏忽大意”而導致喪失新穎性,申請人就真真是滿腹委屈了。

 

小編時常聽到有申請人“義憤填膺”地問:“這明明是我自己的技術,怎麼能用來破壞我自己呢?都是我的嘛,我還是第一個發明的啊。”每每這個時候,小編都要耐心地為申請人解釋一下中國關於不喪失新穎性的公開的相關規定,進行一番安撫。

 

其實各國對於某些特定的“公開”情形都有認為不損害新穎性的相關規定,隻不過表述各異,範圍不盡相同。今天小編就選取中國、美國、歐洲、英國、日本這方麵的規定進行解析,找找他們內在的規則和聯係,看看規定的異同。

 

首先,讓我們來羅列一下幾個國家不同的法條規定:

 

【中國】
《中國專利法》第24條規定:申請專利的發明創造在申請日以前六個月內,有下列情形之一的,不喪失新穎性:
(一)在中國政府主辦或者承認的國際展覽會上首次展出的;
(二)在規定的學術會議或者技術會議上首次發表的;
(三)他人未經申請人同意而泄露其內容的。

 

【美國】
《United States Code Title 35 - Patents》第102條b款規定:
(b) EXCEPTIONS.—
(1) DISCLOSURES MADE 1 YEAR OR LESS BEFORE THE EFFECTIVE FILING DATE OF THE CLAIMED
INVENTION.—A disclosure made 1 year or less before the effective fling date of a claimed invention shall not be prior art to the claimed invention under subsection (a)(1) if—
(A) the disclosure was made by the inventor or joint inventor or by another who obtained the subject matter disclosed directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor; or
(B) the subject matter disclosed had, before such disclosure, been publicly disclosed by the inventor or a joint inventor or another who obtained the subject matter disclosed directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor.
(2) DISCLOSURES APPEARING IN APPLICATIONS AND PATENTS.—A disclosure shall not be prior art to a claimed invention under subsection (a)(2) if—
(A) the subject matter disclosed was obtained directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor;
(B) the subject matter disclosed had, before such subject matter was effectively fled under subsection (a)(2), been publicly disclosed by the inventor or a joint inventor or another who obtained the subject matter disclosed directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor; or
(C) the subject matter disclosed and the claimed invention, not later than the effective fling date of the claimed invention, were owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person.

 

【歐洲專利共約】
《European Patent Convention》第55條規定:Non-prejudicial disclosures
(1) For the application of Article 54, a disclosure of the invention shall not be taken into consideration if it occurred no earlier than six months preceding the filing of the European patent application and if it was due to, or in consequence of:
(a) an evident abuse in relation to the applicant or his legal predecessor, or
(b) the fact that the applicant or his legal predecessor has displayed the invention at an official, or officially recognised, international exhibition falling within the terms of the Convention on international exhibitions signed at Paris on 22 November 1928 and last revised on 30 November 1972.
(2) In the case of paragraph 1(b), paragraph 1 shall apply only if the applicant states, when filing the European patent application, that the invention has been so displayed and files a supporting certificate within the time limit and under the conditions laid down in the Implementing Regulations.

 

【英國】
《英國專利法案1977》第2-(4)規定:
For the purposes of this section the disclosure of matter constituting an invention shall be disregarded in the case of a patent or an application for a patent if occurring later than the beginning of the period of six months immediately preceding the date of filing the application for the patent and either -
(a) the disclosure was due to, or made in consequence of, the matter having been obtained unlawfully or in breach of confidence by any person -
(i) from the inventor or from any other person to whom the matter was made available in confidence by the inventor or who obtained it from the inventor because he or the inventor believed that he was entitled to obtain it; or
(ii) from any other person to whom the matter was made available in confidence by any person mentioned in sub-paragraph (i) above or in this sub-paragraph or who obtained it from any person so mentioned because he or the person from whom he obtained it believed that he was entitled to obtain it;
(b) the disclosure was made in breach of confidence by any person who obtained the matter in confidence from the inventor or from any other person to whom it was made available, or who obtained it, from the inventor; or
(c) the disclosure was due to, or made in consequence of the inventor displaying the invention at an international exhibition and the applicant states, on filing the application, that the invention has been so displayed and also, within the prescribed period, files written evidence in support of the statement complying with any prescribed conditions.

 

【日本】
《日本專利法》(譯文)第30條規定:喪失發明新穎性之例外
獲得專利的權利的持有人通過進行試驗、 在刊物上發表、 通過電信線路公布, 或者在特許廳長官指定的學術團體所舉辦的研討會上以書麵方式發表等行為, 導致發明落入了第二十九條第一款各項之一的, 當就該發明在落入之日起六個月以內提出專利申請的, 在適用該條第一款各項之規定時, 其發明視為不落入該條第一款各項之規定。
違背獲得專利的權利持有人之意圖, 導致發明落入第二十九條第一款各項之一的, 獲得專利的權利的持有人就該發明在落入之日起六個月以內提出專利申請的, 該條第一款及第二款的適用也與前款相同。
獲得專利的權利的持有人在政府或者地方公共團體 (下稱“政府等” ) 舉辦的博覽會或者特許廳長官指定的非政府等舉辦的博覽會上展出, 在巴黎公約締約國或者世界貿易組織成員境內由其政府等或者得到其政府等的許可者舉辦的國際性博覽會上展出, 或者在特許廳長官指定的非巴黎公約締約國、 非世界貿易組織成員境內由其政府等或者得到其政府等的許可者舉辦的國際性博覽會上展出, 從而導致發明落入了第二十九條第一款各項規定之一的, 其在落入之日起六個月以內提出專利申請時, 該條第一款及第二款的適用也與第一款相同。

 

條款和規定很長,讀起來語言也比較晦澀,那麼讓我們拆分開來,用一個表格來進行簡單對比,看看是否能發現一些端倪。

通過上述表格,我們不難發現,各國法律對於惡意公開都給予了一定程度的保護。對於參加國際展會的行為,同樣給予了一定程度的認可,隻是對於“國際展會”的名錄限定各有不同。比如,中國要求為中國政府主辦或者承認,歐專要求必須在1928年11月22日在巴黎簽訂的、 最後在1972年11月30日修改的《國際展覽會公約》中等等。而對與首次發表,規定就比較不具有普遍性了。

 

對比幾個國家,我們能發現美國對與不喪失新穎性的排除事由是最為寬泛的。時間周期長,包括了發明人自行披露的情形,這是由於美國采用的先發明製專利製度所決定的。另外,在現實當中,各國的新穎性寬限期的不同規定,確實也給申請人造成了許多不便,因此WIPO也做出了努力,希望能夠予以協調統一。但各國對於申請人利益和公眾利益考慮偏向的不同,以及各國專利法本身所依據的先申請製和先發明製度的不同,造成重重困難。WIPO至今依然為此在不懈努力。

 

但,無論如何,不喪失新穎性的寬限雖然為權利人提供了這樣的救濟措施,以保護權利人的利益,但不意味著權利人一定要利用這樣的條件進行早期公開的行為。考慮到公開後會導致先用權的產生,在先申請製的中國,對權利人而言,仍然是一個不小的損失。專利先行應該是企業進行知識產權布局、保護的重要前提之一。在開展任何商事活動之前,應該考慮專利保護的相關風險和需求,及時遞交專利申請,避免不必要的損失。企業的知識產權相關負責人員也需要始終保持敏感,在發生了“提前披露”的事由時,及時收集相關材料,盡快提交專利申請,利用各國的製度規定維護企業的權益。

 

希望小編的上述分享能夠對您保護企業知識產權有所助益。

 

如有任何問題,歡迎隨時來電谘詢:010-82732278

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