10 November 2011
Meeting for their Annual Trilateral Conference near Paris, France, the heads of the EPO, the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) - collectively known as the Trilateral Offices - progressed in their efforts to further harmonise patent systems around the globe by agreeing on steps to enhance efficiency in patent-related procedures between the three regions.
In this context, the three offices agreed to launch a new tool that will make it easier to access results from patent searches carried out by multiple offices for the same invention, the so-called Common Citation Document (CCD). Moreover, the Trilateral Offices agreed to extend the duration of their current Trilateral PCT "Patent Prosecution Highway" (PPH) pilot programme, which involves the reuse of PCT International phase work (PCT-PPH), for another two years.
The Trilateral Cooperation was introduced in 1983 to facilitate harmonisation of the patent systems in Europe, Japan and the US. It functions on the basis of annual work plans for technical projects that are agreed at the Annual Trilateral Conferences. The 30th Annual Trilateral Conference will be hosted by the Japan Patent Office in November 2012 .