IP5 affirm their commitment to sustainable development and an inclusive innovation ecosystem

Vice-President Nellie Simon, EPO, Commissioner Hamano Koichi, JPO, Acting Commissioner Kim Shi-Hyeong, KIPO, Commissioner Shen Changyu, CNIPA and Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director Kathi Vidal, USPTO.

Left to right: Vice-President Nellie Simon, EPO, Commissioner Hamano Koichi, JPO, Acting Commissioner Kim Shi-Hyeong, KIPO, Commissioner Shen Changyu, CNIPA and Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director Kathi Vidal, USPTO.

On 20 June, the European Patent Office (EPO) participated in the 17th annual meeting of the IP5 in Seoul, where the world's five largest intellectual property (IP) Offices reaffirmed their commitment to an inclusive IP system in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). The IP5, namely the EPO, the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), collectively account for around 85% of all patent applications filed worldwide.

The meeting was chaired by KIPO Acting Commissioner Kim Shi-Hyeong and attended by EPO Vice-President Nellie Simon on behalf of President António Campinos, JPO Commissioner Hamano Koichi, CNIPA Commissioner Shen Changyu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and USPTO Director Kathi Vidal. WIPO Deputy Director General of the Patents and Technology Sector Lisa Jorgenson attended in an observer capacity.

Aligning initiatives and projects with the new vision to deliver concrete results  

At the previous annual meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii, the Offices adopted a new IP5 vision statement. This year, delegates underlined their commitment to this new vision and engaged in discussions on topics such as IP’s role in supporting the UN SDGs, creating a user-friendly and inclusive international patent landscape, and responding to rapid technological developments, including those driven by artificial intelligence (AI).

Vice-President Simon emphasised the importance of collaboration in fostering a more inclusive patent system, “Increased co-operation between the IP5 Offices will help us overcome the underrepresentation of key inventor groups in the patent system, such as smaller businesses, micro entities and start-ups, as well as individual inventors, women and youth. Through coordinated action, the five largest patent Offices in the world contribute to greater inclusion and accessibility to the innovation ecosystem and promote the realisation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals through IP”.

The IP5 shared key initiatives and policies to support SMEs, micro-entities, research centres and universities in leveraging IP to grow, including using innovative technologies. A report detailing these policies as well as those from WIPO will be made available on the IP5 website.

They also agreed to develop "Guidelines for Building a Sustainable Future” to implement the IP5 vision statement, complete with concrete medium to long-term approaches. Additionally, the Offices endorsed the “IP5 Project Review” results, aligning projects with the vision and focusing resources on producing tangible results for stakeholders.

Technical co-operation and AI integration

Technical co-operation measures were discussed, including global assignment, harmonisation of allowable features in drawings, e-signatures, emerging technologies, AI, and improvements to the Global Dossier for a more efficient, cost-effective, and user-friendly international patent landscape. The Offices also approved the final outcomes of AI-related projects concerning areas such as examination practices for AI-related inventions and inventorship of AI-generated inventions, with details to be made publicly available through the IP5 website.

Maintaining close ties with industry and fostering support to SMEs 

In conjunction with the annual meeting, the Offices explored various topics related to IP and AI at the 14th International IP Protection Conference, exchanging views and information on AI policies with stakeholders, including IP5 Industry.

Delegates also met with industry associations from IP5 regions, including the American Intellectual Property Law Association, BusinessEurope, the Intellectual Property Owners Association, the Japan Intellectual Property Association, the Korea Intellectual Property Association and the Patent Protection Association of China. The Institute of Professional Representatives before the EPO (epi) also attended this meeting. The Offices and industry associations took stock of ongoing efforts within IP5 regions to support the growth of innovative SMEs and discussed technical cooperation efforts.

The IP5 outlined future improvements to its website, which will enhance communication between the five Offices and stakeholders and promote awareness of IP5 initiatives.

Further information