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Group B+


Group B+

The Group B+ was established to promote and facilitate progress on key issues under consideration at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and in particular to move forward on substantive patent law harmonisation.


It is chaired by Mr Pascal Faure, Director-General of the French Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle, (INPI), and its members are:

  • all members of WIPO's Group B,
  • EU member states,
  • the European Commission,
  • EPOrg member states,
  • the EPO,
  • South Korea.

WIPO and Singapore attend the meetings as observers.

The Group B+ usually holds its in person annual plenary session on the fringes of the WIPO General Assemblies in Geneva.


In 2014, a B+ Sub-Group was set up to assist the Chair, now consisting of representatives from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the UK, the USA and the EPO.

The Sub-Group has focused on a package of outstanding issues, namely:

  • non-prejudicial disclosures/grace period,
  • publication of applications,
  • conflicting applications,
  • prior user rights and
  • prior art.

While views differ as to the elements that constitute best practice, substantial progress has been made on the definition of various principles and objectives governing the issues under consideration.

User and stakeholder involvement

The group attaches great importance to transparency and will continue to engage with national and regional stakeholders and representatives from the user community.

Documents published by the Group B+

Documents published by the B+ Sub-Group

Consultation on Substantive Patent Law Harmonisation 2022

Cornerstones for Harmonisation:
a B+ Sub-Group / Industry Symposium Munich, 20 June 2017