Important amendments in Norwegian IPR Laws

  • All IPR laws: Restitution based on unintentional criterion replaces all due care. 
  • Restitution of priority on patents. 
  • Patent limitations: No longer examined on novelty and inventive step, clarity and enablement.  
  • Administrative patent review: Can now be based on enablement. 
  • Design applications: No need to give the name of the designer. 

Move from all due care to unintentional 

The strict requirement of having to prove that all due care has been taken when a deadline has not been met, has been replaced by a far more lenient unintentional criterion. As a result of the amendment, it will now be sufficient to explain the reason why the deadline was not met and that the proprietor had the intention to meet the deadline. The IPO will not question the explanation as long as it seems reasonable. 

 

The deadline for requesting restitution: 

  • For patents: two months from when the failure was discovered, but no later than one year after the deadline. 
  • For failure to pay annuity fees: two months when the failure was discovered but no later than one year after the deadline, including the 6 months grace period. 
  • For trademarks and design: two months from when the failure was discovered but no later than four months after the deadline. 

Restitution of priority on patents 

Failure to file a patent application within the 12 months priority deadline can be remedied if the application is filed no later than two months after the priority term. The failure must be unintentional (see above). 

 

Patent limitation 

It is possible to limit the scope of the claims after grant, such as if new prior art has been discovered. Until now the IPO has examined the limited claims for novelty, inventive step and sufficiency of disclosure. As a result of the amendment to the Patents Act, the examination will now be limited to determine if the amendment is indeed a limitation of the scope. 

  

Administrative patent review 

A third party may request re-examination of a patent. Until now the request had to be based on lack of novelty or inventive step. Now the request can also be based on insufficiency of disclosure. 

 

Design Applications: The name of the designer is no longer mandatory 

Until now the name and address of the designer had to indicated in a design application. This is no longer mandatory.