7 December 2021
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The heads of the European Patent Office (EPO), Japan Patent Office (JPO) and United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), known as the Trilateral offices, held their 39th annual meeting in the form of videoconference today (7 December), hosted by the JPO. At the meeting, EPO President António Campinos, JPO Commissioner MORI Kiyoshi, and USPTO (Performing the functions and duties of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, Office of the Under Secretary and Director) Drew Hirshfeld, discussed the outcome of their recent meeting with the Trilateral industry associations, reviewed the digitalisation of procedures at each office and spoke about the possibility of future Trilateral co-operation on Intellectual Property (IP) and environmental issues.
Today's meeting was preceded by a virtual Trilateral Heads with Industry meeting on 16 November, where the heads of office came together with industry associations from the three regions. At this meeting, the Trilateral offices reaffirmed the importance of working closely with industry to identify new ways to improve the patent procedure for the benefit of users and society at large, and industry provided crucial feedback to the offices on how to further support applicants through the digitisation of procedures. Trilateral industry representatives also expressed their hopes for possible future co-operation between the Trilateral offices on IP and environmental issues.
Among the topics discussed were the differences in electronic procedures amongst the patent offices, and ways that IP can facilitate innovation to address environmental problems. Looking ahead, the Trilateral offices confirmed their intention to strengthen co-operation, showcase the benefits of IP in addressing global challenges, and continue engagement with stakeholders.