IP5 agree to strengthen co-operation to tackle global challenges

23 July 2020

The heads of the world's five largest intellectual property offices (IP5) convened for their 13th annual meeting, the first to be conducted by video conference, to take stock of major achievements in their co-operation initiatives over the past year, and address the priorities for IP5 co-operation in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

EPO delegation during the 13th annual meeting of IP5 heads of office

They endorsed progress and next steps in a wide variety of IP5 projects, including the scoping exercise undertaken by the IP5 NET/AI Taskforce co-steered by the EPO and KIPO. The exercise will lead to the design of a roadmap addressing new emerging technologies and artificial intelligence. The next steps in the PCT collaborative search and examination (CS&E) pilot project were approved with a view to enabling the offices to better analyse resulting efficiency gains. The heads also backed the advances towards developing a work plan to harmonise practices and procedures. 

IP5 heads of office meeting via video conference

In light of recent global events, the meeting agenda focussed on the IP5 offices' strategic responses to the current coronavirus situation and co-operation post COVID-19. The IP5 heads emphasised the importance of fostering innovation and supporting research to tackle the pandemic, and the key role that intellectual property (IP) plays in boosting economic recovery and creating employment. They agreed to further improve access to patent information containing a wealth of technological knowledge related to the detection, prevention and treatment of COVID-19.

In a joint statement, released after their meeting, the heads stressed that "through all of these measures, the five offices continue to support inventors and researchers everywhere with high-quality IP rights that help them to attract investment, enter new markets, and foster technology transfer".

Demonstrating joint leadership, they further underlined their commitment to "provide better services to users and the public, so as to enhance the role of intellectual property in stimulating innovation and promoting socio-economic development".

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