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World’s five largest patent offices convene for 2018 annual meeting

18 June 2018

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From left to right: Shen Changyu, Commissioner of SIPO; Sung Yunmo, Commissioner of KIPO; Andrei Iancu, USPTO Director; Benoît Battistelli, EPO President; Naoko Munakata, Commissioner of the JPO and John Sandage, Deputy Director General of WIPO

The five largest patent offices held their annual IP5 heads of office meeting on 14 June in New Orleans, USA. The meeting was hosted by USPTO Director Andrei Iancu, and was attended by EPO President Benoît Battistelli, Naoko Munakata, Commissioner of the JPO, Sung Yunmo, Commissioner of KIPO, and Shen Changyu, Commissioner of SIPO.

The heads of office addressed topics that are deemed to play an increasingly important role in  the future of IP5 co-operation and which could have a significant impact on the global patent system, such as the further development of the Global Dossier and the increasing use of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

In a meeting with IP5 Industry, appreciation was expressed for the EPO's leadership and the continuous progress that it has made in the area of quality. In particular, industry representatives underlined the value of exchanges with the users of the IP5 regions under the framework of the Partnership for Quality. They also highlighted the value of the EPO's comprehensive annual Quality Report and the Praktika intern/extern programme, which encourages greater dialogue between EPO examiners and industry.

Together with the other heads of office, EPO President Battistelli also assessed the evolution of IP5 co-operation since its launch in 2007. The five largest offices account for 80% of the global patent market and share the responsibility of optimising the international patent system. Speaking on the future of IP5 co-operation, President Battistelli underlined that its success will depend on the rigorous prioritisation of projects, and the allocation of the necessary financial, human and IT resources that are required for their efficient and timely implementation.

On the basis of a proposal from the EPO, the IP5 offices reaffirmed the impact of AI on the patent system as one of the IP5's main strategic priorities. The subject of AI will now be explored further in conjunction with the other IP5 offices, led by the EPO. Also on the initiative of the EPO, the offices agreed to continue discussions at IP5 level on the interplay of patents and standards, with a view to establishing a uniform, international approach.

For President Battistelli, this was the last IP5 meeting he will attend before his term comes to an end on 30 June 2018, after eight years as head of the EPO. At the end of the session, the other heads of office thanked President Battistelli for the contributions that he has made to the work of the IP5, acknowledging the EPO's major role in the group, and commended the President on his services to intellectual property.

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