IP5 Heads of Office meeting in Busan: move towards public access to patent information

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6 June 2014

The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) hosted a meeting of the heads of the five major intellectual property offices, known as the IP5, in Busan, Korea from June 4 to 6, 2014, with the participation of the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the State Intellectual Property Office of the People's Republic of China (SIPO), and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

This year marked the seventh occasion of the IP5 Heads Meeting, and brought together the heads of the five offices, Mr. Youngmin Kim, KIPO Commissioner, Mr. Benoît Battistelli, EPO President, Mr. Hideo Hato, JPO Commissioner, Dr. Changyu Shen, SIPO Commissioner, and Ms. Michelle Lee, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce and Deputy Director of the USPTO to discuss a wide-ranging agenda on how to further increase the efficiency and quality of the patent granting process and enhance work-sharing among the five offices. Mr. Yoshiyuki Takagi, Assistant Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization attended as an observer.

Delivering on their commitments, the IP5 heads agreed to:

  • Increase the quality of the patent documentation held by the offices by publishing the complete collection of each office (IP5 Authority File publication);
  • Promote public access to "file wrapper" information (Global Dossier) at the IP5 level: the EPO's Global Dossier service has been launched and public access to file wrapper information through each of the five IP office's systems will be completed in phases over the next two years;
  • Start work on patent harmonization focusing on the citation of prior art, written description/sufficiency of disclosure and unity of invention, the latter topic being first addressed  by a group of experts, not precluding launch of the other two topics, in Autumn 2014 in China.
  • Launch the update of the IP5 website to inform the public more efficiently of the outcomes of IP5 cooperation and activities together with IP5 statistics and materials.
  • Collaborate on the development of the Patent Cooperation Treaty system;

Prior to the meeting, the IP5 heads met representatives from six industry groups of the IP5 regions: the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), BUSINESSEUROPE (BE), the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), Japan Intellectual Property Association (JIPA), Korea Intellectual Property Association (KINPA), and the Patent Protection Association of China (PPAC) to hear views and opinions on IP5 agenda topics, particularly the Global Dossier and patent information exchange, work-sharing and quality, development of the PCT and the PPH system, patent harmonization and the next steps of IP5 cooperation. The IP5 Offices reaffirmed the importance of having users directly involved in the improvement of the global patent system.

Commissioner Kim emphasized that this year's meeting presented a good opportunity for the five offices to move forward with making their services and policies more user-friendly and efficient. The five Offices agreed to continue their endeavours in providing sustainable and reliable IP services to users.

The next IP5 Heads Meeting will be hosted by SIPO in China in 2015.

More information on the IP5 cooperation can be found at www.fiveipoffices.org

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