IP5 step up co-operation on sustainability

9 June 2022

The heads of the world's five largest intellectual property offices (IP5) met virtually today for their 15th annual meeting. The focus of this year's meeting, hosted by the EPO, was to introduce sustainability in the IP5 agendas and enhance the patent system to better support innovators globally.

President Campinos chaired the meeting, which was attended by JPO Commissioner Mori Kiyoshi, KIPO Commissioner Lee Insil, CNIPA Commissioner Shen Changyu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and USPTO Director Kathi Vidal, and WIPO Deputy Director General Lisa Jorgenson.

Topics discussed included the results of co-operation during the past year. Among the highlights was the implementation of a global alerting system by the EPO, covering patent prosecution changes in all five offices. The preparations made for implementing the IP5 NET/AI Roadmap were also reviewed. The aim of this Roadmap is to optimise internal processes at the IP5 through the use of new emerging technologies and artificial intelligence, as well as enhance legal certainty and transparency in applicable patent practices.

Further topics of discussion included the latest developments in the priority areas of global assignment and of allowable features in drawings, where the publication of the "IP5 safe format" was noted as a milestone. There was also an update on measures to further optimise the operational efficiency of IP5 co-operation and streamline approval and decision-making processes.

Finally, a preliminary evaluation was presented of the pilot project on IP5 PCT Collaborative Search & Examination, along with details of the extension of the evaluation phase.

In terms of outcomes, the IP5 offices agreed to revisit the IP5 vision to accommodate sustainability and will consider the establishment of an IP5 sustainability task force, to co-ordinate actions on this important agenda.

Celebrating 10 years of co-operation between the IP5 offices and IP5 Industry

Today's proceedings followed the meeting on 8 June between the heads of office and industry representatives from the IP5 regions. Participants celebrated a decade of industry involvement and exchanged views on the impact of IP and its role in promoting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Focusing on innovative solutions and industry efforts in the field of affordable and clean energy (SDGs 7 and 9), the offices and industry highlighted the potential of IP in addressing global socio-economic challenges. Participants agreed to strengthen their partnership towards a sustainable future (SDG 17).

This will further grow the tradition of co-operation that began to emerge when the first meeting of this kind took place in June 2012. Participants in Wednesday's proceedings underlined how, during the last decade, IP5 Industry meetings have helped ensure that applicants' views are heard, and that joint IP5 projects and initiatives are user-driven. Users' expectations for the future focus of IP5 initiatives were also discussed.

To mark the occasion, a commemorative video was released, highlighting the main achievements of the past ten years. The video complemented a joint statement that noted concrete user benefits in the fields of patent classification, IT, work-sharing and quality, patent practice alignment and statistics.

Representatives were present from: the American Intellectual Property Law Association; BusinessEurope; the Intellectual Property Owners Association, the Japan Intellectual Property Association; the Korea Intellectual Property Association; and the Patent Protection Association of China.

The next IP5 heads of office meeting will be hosted by the USPTO in 2023.

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