Heads of the world's five largest intellectual property offices have decided to optimize their work-sharing system, and improve patent quality management and information services in their future cooperation, as discussed at an annual meeting held earlier this month.
Officials from the State Intellectual Property Office of China, the European Patent Office, the Japan Patent Office, the Korean Intellectual Property Office and the United States Patent and Trademark Office - commonly referred to as the IP5 - held the meeting in Valletta, Malta, to celebrate a decade of cooperation, take stock of their achievements to date and decide the future direction of their initiatives.
According to the IP5 Joint Statement, released on June 1, the five offices have envisioned patent harmonization through practices and procedures, enhanced work-sharing, high-quality and timely research and examination results and seamless access to patent information to promote an efficient, cost-effective and user-friendly international patent landscape.
Based on the 2015 and 2016 joint statements, the IP5 heads restated the vital importance of industrial involvement in the organizations' cooperation and renewed their commitment to strengthening dialogue with industry stakeholders from the involved regions, thus ensuring that their efforts effectively support the needs of users.
Five patent giants meet in Malta to share processes
The offices will "endeavor to strengthen their efforts to explore the potential for harmonizing aspects of their patent practices and procedures to reduce the workload and costs for applicants filing their applications in multiple jurisdictions in parallel" against the backdrop of growing numbers of cross-filings, the joint statement said.
They will work toward the continuous improvement of patent quality and the delivery of high-quality products and services.
Recognizing the Patent Cooperation Treaty as one of the most successful international frameworks for work-sharing, the offices will continue to work with the World Intellectual Property Organization to optimize the functions of the PCT system. The group will establish a collaborative concept for international searches under the PCT and explore other worksharing options tailored to the changing examination environment.
They will also intensify work on the Global Dossier, taking into account users' needs and promoting easy access to and in-depth utilization of patent information.
The Global Dossier is a public service that enables users to monitor how a family of patent applications is progressing at the IP5 offices via a single online source. It is one of the many products developed by the IP5 to allow the offices to share work and speed up patent processing.
Cooperation among the five offices started in 2007 in response to the increasing globalization of the patent process, marked by growing numbers of patent applications and companies increasingly filing their patents with multiple offices.
Accounting for more than 80 percent of patent applications worldwide and about 95 percent of all PCT work done, the IP5 mechanism focuses on the elimination of unnecessary work through improved efficiency, alignment of procedures and the development of shared tools to increase the quality of the patent system while reducing costs for users.
By Zhuan Ti
Source: China Daily