WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hosted a meeting of the heads of the world’s five largest intellectual property offices in Cupertino, California. Known as the IP5, members include the USPTO, the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), and the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO).
During the meeting, the heads renewed their commitment to develop the “Global Dossier,” a system to simplify the viewing and management of applications filed in the IP5 Offices. The heads also agreed to adopt the Global Classification Initiative, a new effort to harmonize patent classification. The heads confirmed the adoption of an IP5 Patent Information (PI) policy, pursuant to which each of the offices will work towards providing barrier free access to patent data. The heads reaffirmed work-sharing in the framework of IP5 cooperation, and endorsed the development of a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot project between all IP5 Offices. Additionally, the heads stressed the need to advance harmonization of substantive and procedural patent law. To this end, the heads reviewed the progress in the work of the IP5 Patent Harmonization Experts Panel, and considered next steps.
Meeting participants included Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Acting Director for the USPTO Teresa Stanek Rea, President of the EPO Benoît Battistelli, Commissioner of the JPO Hiroyuki Fukano, Commissioner of KIPO Young-min Kim, and Commissioner of SIPO Tian Lipu. In addition, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization Dr. Francis Gurry attended as an observer.
“This meeting marks our sixth year and the first hosted by the USPTO since the very first one in 2007,” said Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Acting Director of the USPTO Teresa Stanek Rea. “Through our efforts in classification, work sharing, procedural and substantive law harmonization, the IP5 is truly leading the world in addressing the full gamut of intellectual property challenges and I am certain we will succeed in meeting them all in the end.”
The IP5 Offices began meeting in 2007 and have since worked together to improve quality and efficiency of the examination process and to optimize work sharing opportunities between the offices. The IP5 Offices account for 90% of all patent applications filed worldwide and for 93% of all work carried out under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). The vision of the IP5 Offices is global co-operation, which has been defined as “the elimination of unnecessary duplication of work among the IP5 Offices, the enhancement of patent examination efficiency and quality and guarantee of the stability of patent right”. The next IP5 Heads meeting will be hosted by the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) in 2014.
More information on the IP5 Offices can be found at www.fiveipoffices.org. Information about each of the IP5 Offices can be found at U.S. Patent and Trademark Office www.uspto.gov; Japan Patent Office www.jpo.go.jp; European Patent Office www.epo.org; State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China www.sipo.gov.cn; and Korean Intellectual Property Office www.kipo.go.kr.