Sweden’s Proposed Patents Act

On 11 April 2024, the Swedish Council on Legislation was presented with a new Swedish Patents Act proposal.

The initial Swedish Government Official Report dates from April 2015 and was the product of a two-and-a-half-year project that included many concerns regarding the Unitary Patent system. The suggested legislative changes from the 2015 report have already been implemented in the current Patents Act when the Unitary Patent entered into force in June 2023.

However, the proposal for a wholly revised Patents Act has been idling, awaiting the Unitary Patent’s entry into force. During this time, the Justice Department has been reviewing the many responses to their remit of the report proposals and has worked on changes to the initial proposal for a new Patents Act.

This product has now been presented to the Council on Legislation for review and comments. The proposal is for a new Swedish Patents Act to be enacted on 1 January 2025.

Highlights of the new act include deleting the concept and term grundhandling (directly translated as basic document) to approximate the European Patent Convention’s (EPC) term application as filed.

In general, many of the proposed changes update the Patents Act from 1967 with an approximation to the EPC, which dates from 1973 and has become a much more common filing route for Swedish patent applicants than national Swedish applications.

Another significant change in the new Patents Act is that the Swedish Intellectual Property Office will only initiate handling the patent application once the official fees have been paid. Thus, it will no longer be possible to file an application and request early publication (a common patent preventive strategy) without paying the fees.

The proposal notes that parallel to the new Patents Act, a new Patent Regulation is being prepared, which will replace the current Patents Decree. However, any information on the new Patent Regulation, let alone a draft, has yet to be published.

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