December 17, 2007

It was recently announced that amendments to the Netherlands Patent Act of 1995 and the Implementation Decree of 1995 are undergoing a review and potential amendments, one of which is the discontinuation of the six-year patent. Aside from other changes (including the future ability to file Dutch applications in English and a number of fee changes as described in the Netherlands Patent Office link below), the Dutch six-year patent, which is generally granted without prior examination, is being phased out “because the users feel that it offers to little legal security.” This particular change, according to the Netherlands Patent Office, means that “patent applicants will, in all cases, have to request a search into the state of the art within thirteen months,” and “[a]ll applicants will then be granted a twenty-year patent, including a report on the search.” These changes are proposed so that “both the applicant and third parties are in a better position to make an estimate of the value of the patent granted.”

Netherlands Patent Office Announcement: LINK
Six-year Patent Webpage: LINK
Twenty-year Patent Webpage: LINK

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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