IP5 Discuss Patent Harmonisation

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By Kelly Burke for Intellectual Property Watch

Officials from the IP5, the five largest intellectual property offices in the world, met this week to move forward on harmonising patent law procedure between the offices.

Known as the IP5, members include the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), European Patent Office (EPO), Japan Patent Office (JPO), Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), and State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO).

According to a USPTO press release, the heads of all five offices agreed to adopt the Global Classification Initiative, a new effort to harmonise patent classification. The offices also confirmed the adoption of an IP5 Patent Information (PI) policy, which will work toward barrier-free access to patent data. In addition, they “renewed their commitment” to develop a “Global Dossier,” intended to simplify the viewing and management of applications filed in the IP5 offices.

The IP5 accounts for 90 per cent of all patent applications filed worldwide and for 93 per cent of all work carried out under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), according to the release.

The meeting was attended by Acting USPTO Director Teresa Stanek Rea, EPO President Benoît Battistelli, JPO Commissioner Hiroyuki Fukano, KIPO Commissioner Young-min Kim, and SIPO Commissioner Tian Lipu.  In addition, World Intellectual Property Organization Director General Francis Gurry attended as an observer. WIPO manages, and receives much of its funding from, the PCT.

The next IP5 meeting will be hosted by KIPO in 2014.


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