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Friday, 15 June 2007

Norway comes in from the cold

It has taken them about 30 years to get round to it, but Norway has finally signed up to becoming a member state of the European Patent Convention, as announced by the EPO here.

Norway will, on 1 January 2008, become the 33rd member state to be fully signed up to the Convention.

Strangely, Norway was a participant and signatory at the 1973 Munich diplomatic conference, where the terms of the European Patent Convention were first agreed. Even though it has been entitled to join since the EPO was founded, it has been for a long while the only participant not yet to become a member.

The IPKat can only wonder: what took you so long?


Anonymous said...

I can guess what took Norway so long - the (mis?)apprehension that all the inward patent filing work would be lost to the local profession and that the Norwegian Patent Office would lose valuable renewal income to the EPO. Norwegian self-interest in the field of patents is not confined to trolls.

Anonymous said...

I spoke to a senior member of the Norwegian office last year and she told me that they hoped to get some examining work from the EPO if they did sign up. Laugh? I nearly choked.

Anonymous said...

And the Norwegians join the Nordic Patent Office as well? What's it to be? A European system or not a European system?

hcblom said...

Norway has always been hugely protectionist in most areas in which there is a local industry. In the patent field, the mainland industry apparently feared the competition from abroad if Norway was to join the EPO, and lobbied the government to keep out.

Additionally there is a deep fear of Europe in Norway, and that did'nt help either. In 1972 there was a very bitter election whether or not to join the EU, and the nays won, all of this resulting in this strange limbo state for over 20 years.

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