Minutes of 3rd Meeting of Study Group
Concerning Patent in New Area and Competition Policy
- Time/Date: 2:00-4:00 p.m., Friday, May 31, 2002
- Place: Conference Room 2 of Secretariat Division of JFTC
- Topic: Discussion regarding preliminary draft of the report
(1) Discussion as to the topic above is as follows:
- As for the report, it would be better for us to make distinction between the problems concerning the patent in new area such as IT (information technology) and biotechnology, and the problems which are relating to all patents and which have been traditionally indicated.
- Under the Japan-US agreement in 1994, compulsory license system as to dependent invention, provided in the Section 92 of Patent Law, is not supposed to be invoked except for redressing the practice determined to be "anticompetitive." The report will be very valuable if the thoughts of Antimonopoly Law on this matter can be sorted out.
Regarding business method patent
- Can't we indicate that "doctrine of equivalents" should be prudently applied to the patent, such as business method patent, of which claim construction tends to be broad?
- With respect to present perception about business method patent, we should point out not only the fact that difficulties and adverse effects have not yet been actualized, but also a possibility that a patent with extremely broad claim or a patent with ground for invalidation may be granted.
Regarding patent related to biotech
- Even if there is a dependent relationship between two patents, such as upstream gene patent and patent related to downstream R&D, it would be extremely rare case where refusal to license the prior application [senior] patent constitutes violation of Antimonopoly Law.
- As for the issues from Antimonopoly Law perspective, the problem relating to license condition is more general than refusal to license.
- Concerning the use of compulsory license system, it is important to secure balance between incentive for prior art development.
- The patent pool of biotech patent has an aspect of facilitating technology development. [Accordingly,] we should refer more to such aspect.
(2) Next meeting time/date is from 2:00 p.m., on Tuesday, June 18th.
(Note): A bracket is remark of translator (Toshiaki Tada)