Heads of world’s five largest IP offices meet in Silicon Valley

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7 June 2013

EPO President Benoît Battistelli met his counterparts from the world's leading patent offices this week in Cupertino, California for the annual meeting of the five largest intellectual property offices.

Known as the IP5, the group includes the EPO, the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the State Intellectual Property Office of the People's Republic of China (SIPO), and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). 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).

During the meeting, hosted this year by the USPTO, the heads of the IP5 offices renewed their commitment to developing the "Global Dossier", a system to simplify the viewing and management of applications filed in the IP5 offices. They also agreed to adopt the Global Classification Initiative, a new effort to harmonise patent classification.  The heads confirmed the adoption of an IP5 patent information policy, pursuant to which each of the offices will work towards providing barrier-free access to patent data. They reaffirmed work-sharing in the framework of IP5 cooperation, and endorsed the development of a Patent Prosecution Highway pilot project between all IP5 offices, including PCT products. Additionally, they stressed the need to advance harmonisation of substantive and procedural patent law. To this end, the heads of office reviewed the progress of the IP5 Patent Harmonization Experts Panel, and considered next steps.

Participants in the meeting included Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Acting Director for the USPTO Teresa Stanek Rea, EPO President Benoît Battistelli, JPO Commissioner Hiroyuki Fukano, KIPO Commissioner Young-min Kim and SIPO Commissioner. In addition, the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization, Francis Gurry attended as an observer.

The IP5 offices began meeting in 2007 and have since worked together to improve the quality and efficiency of the examination process and to optimise work-sharing opportunities. The next IP5 heads meeting will be hosted by KIPO in 2014.

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