23 June 2021
The heads of the world's five largest intellectual property offices (IP5) met virtually on 23 June for their 14th annual meeting. They took stock of major achievements in their co-operation initiatives over the past year and noted the significance of aligning practices to meet the needs of users, especially with a view to boosting economic recovery in the wake of the pandemic.
To this end, the IP5 is designing a roadmap to address new emerging technologies and artificial intelligence (NET/AI). The roadmap will outline collaborative opportunities for the offices to enhance operational efficiency and services, as well as take into consideration new challenges concerning the acquisition of rights to these technologies.
Two new IP5 projects are intended to further improve the alignment of patent practices and procedures among the offices, to help make patent prosecution more efficient, cost-effective and user-friendly: a global assignment to harmonize streamlined procedures for the transfer of rights; and a project to standardise requirements regarding size, colour/monochrome and other features allowed in drawings.
A separate meeting took place between the heads of office and industry associations from the IP5 regions, namely: the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA); BusinessEurope (BE); the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO); the Japan Intellectual Property Association (JIPA); the Korea Intellectual Property Association (KINPA); and the Patent Protection Association of China (PPAC). The IP5 industry associations expressed their support for the IP5 offices' initiatives and confirmed that they will continue to engage in dialogue and co-operation with the IP5 offices and industries.
The IP5 offices reaffirmed that intellectual property (IP) plays an essential role in protecting and promoting innovations to help overcome COVID-19 and boost economic recovery. They then exchanged insights into their respective initiatives to help address social challenges through the use of intellectual property rights (IPRs), and acknowledged the necessity of taking a long-term perspective on IPRs and the integral role that IPRs play in addressing social challenges.
The next IP5 heads of office meeting will mark the tenth anniversary of meetings with IP5 industry associations and be hosted by the EPO in June 2022. The meeting will focus on the accessibility of the IP system for users and the promotion of a strong IP culture.