A Grace Period and European Patent Law: It's Time for Change

6 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2013

See all articles by Martin J. Adelman

Martin J. Adelman

George Washington University - Law School

Date Written: 2000


This article begins by discussing the first-to-file and first-to-invent approaches to inventions. Next, the article describes how each of the two systems defines “prior art” and argues that employing the first-to-invent approach has two problems: a lack of incentive to file early and difficulty in advising an inventor about what qualifies as prior art. In the United States, something counts as prior art “[i]f the publication date is more than one year before the actual filing date.” The article concludes that Europe would benefit from adding a grace period because it would make the system fairer and create more similarity between the European and American systems “without creating an unacceptable level of uncertainty.”

Keywords: grace period, patent, prior art

JEL Classification: O34

Suggested Citation

Adelman, Martin J., A Grace Period and European Patent Law: It's Time for Change (2000). 4 International Intellectual Property Law & Policy 31-1 (2000); GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-23; GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2013-23. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2222838

Martin J. Adelman (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Law School ( email )

2000 H. St. NW
Washington, DC 20052
United States

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