The Netherlands Patent Office has announced that it will phase out its six-year patent (C1 document) in 2008. The six-year patent is a weaker form of patent protection than the standard 20-year patent. An application for a six-year patent is automatically registered without a novelty search or examination 18 months after filing. According to the agency’s latest annual report, 602 6-year patents and 1,771 20-year patents were granted in 2005. Of all patents granted, over 50 percent went to private inventors and companies of 1-200 employees.
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