Norway-Selected Compulsory Licensing, Government Use, and Notable Patent Exception Provisions

Patents Act
(Act No. 9 of December 15, 1967, as last amend by Act No. 104 of December 20, 1996).

Chapter 1
General Provisions

1.1 Any person who has made an invention which is susceptible of industrial application, or his successor in title, shall, in accordance with this Act, have the right on application to be granted a patent for the invention and thereby obtain the exclusive right to exploit the invention commercially.

Subject matters not regarded as inventions include anything which merely consists of:

1. discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods;

2. aesthetic creations;

3. schemes, rules or methods for performing mental acts, playing games or doing business, or programs for computers;

4. presentations of information.

Nor shall methods for surgical or therapeutic treatment or diagnostic methods, practised on humans or animals, be considered as inventions. This provision shall not prevent the grant of patents for products, including substances and compositions of substances, for use in such methods.

Patents shall not be granted for:

1. inventions the use of which would be contrary to morality or public order;

2. plant or animal varieties or essentially biological processes for the production of plants or animals. Patents may, however, be granted for microbiological processes and the products thereof.

Chapter 6
Licence, Transfer, Etc.

45. Where three years have elapsed from the grant of the patent and four years from the filing of the patent application without the invention being worked in this country to a reasonable extent, anyone who wishes to work the invention in this country may obtain a compulsory licence for that purpose, provided there is no legitimate reason for the failure to work the invention. The King may, on condition of reciprocity, provide that, for the purpose of applying the first paragraph, working in a foreign country be considered equivalent to working in this country .

46. 6 The holder of a patent for an invention, the use of which is dependent on a patent owned by someone else, may obtain a compulsory licence to use the invention protected by the latter patent provided that the former invention involves an important technical advance of considerable economic significance in relation to the latter invention.

The holder of the patent for the invention to which the compulsory licence applies shall be entitled to obtain a compulsory licence on reasonable terms to use the other invention.

47. Whenever required by important public interests, anyone wishing to exploit commercially an invention for which someone else holds a patent may obtain a compulsory licence to do so.

48. Anyone who, at the time a patent application was made available to the public, was commercially exploiting the invention for which a patent is applied for in this country, may, if the application results in a patent, obtain a compulsory licence for the exploitation of the invention, provided that special circumstances make it desirable, and that he had no knowledge of the application and could not reasonably have obtained such knowledge. Such right shall also, on similar conditions, be enjoyed by anyone who has made substantial preparations for commercial exploitation of the invention in this country . The compulsory licence may also comprise the time preceding the grant of the patent.

49. 6 A compulsory licence may only be granted to someone who has made efforts to obtain a licence on reasonable terms by agreement, and may be presumed able to exploit the invention in a manner which is acceptable and which is in compliance with the terms of the licence. A compulsory licence shall not prevent the patent holder from exploiting the invention himself or from granting licences. A compulsory licence shall only be assignable in conjunction with the enterprise where it is exploited or in which the exploitation was intended. Furthermore, a compulsory licence obtained according to the first paragraph of section 46 may only be assigned in conjunction with the dependent patent. In the case of semi-conductor technology, compulsory licences shall only be granted for public non-commercial use or to remedy practice determined after judicial or administrative process to be anti-competitive.

50. 18 A compulsory licence shall be granted by the court, which shall also determine to what extent the invention may be exploited and stipulate the compensation and the other terms of the licence. If circumstances should change considerably, the court may, at the request of either party, cancel the licence or stipulate new terms. In a decision granting or extending a compulsory licence, the court may find that the owner of the compulsory licence shall have the right to exploit the invention in accordance with the decision during the period prior to the decision becoming legally binding. The Civil Procedure Act, section 148, second paragraph, shall apply correspondingly. If the compulsory licence is cancelled because the decision is opposed before becoming legally binding, the owner of the compulsory licence shall be obliged to pay compensation for the loss caused by the exploitation, to an extent considered reasonable. The third period shall apply correspondingly if restrictions are imposed on the compulsory licence. In a decision under the first period, the court may instruct the licensee to furnish security for liability under the third and fourth periods. If a decision granting or extending a compulsory licence is opposed before becoming legally binding, the court to which the decision is brought, may make or reverse a decision under the first and fifth periods. The decision is made by a ruling or by the final decision in the matter, cf. the second period. A ruling under the seventh period may only be opposed in connection with an appeal of the final decision in the matter .

Chapter 11
Miscellaneous Provisions

70. The King may, when found necessary because of war or danger of war and situations of crisis connected therewith, provide that the right to an invention shall be assigned to the Government or to another party designated by the King. Compensation shall be paid for the assigned right which shall be stipulated by official assessment, if no amicable settlement is reached.

If the right to an invention has been assigned to a party other than the Government in accordance with the first paragraph, and if the party concerned has not met his liabilities, the Government shall, at the request of the party entitled to compensation, be obliged to pay the compensation promptly.