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The 35th Trilateral Heads of Offices Meeting held

On March 30, 2017, the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and the European Patent Office (EPO) held the 35th Trilateral Heads of Offices Meeting (hereinafter referred to as the “Heads Meeting”) in Seville, the Kingdom of Spain. Taking the opportunity of this meeting, on March 29, 2017, the trilateral offices held a meeting bringing together the heads of the offices and representatives of the associations of Trilateral Industry (hereinafter referred to as the “Heads-Industry Meeting”). At the Heads Meeting, participants confirmed cooperation among the trilateral offices and other organizations in the harmonization of respective systems and also held discussions on the reorganization of the IP5 projects, which has been running for the last ten years, and also on IP systems, bearing in mind the recent outcomes of the fourth industrial revolution, e.g., IoT, big data and AI technologies.

1. Outline of the 35th Heads Meeting and the Heads-Industry Meeting

(1) Patent Law Harmonization

At the Heads-Industry Meeting, participants focused on the industry`s symposium concerning the Patent Law Harmonization scheduled to be held in June 2017 in Europe and reported to the heads of the trilateral offices the results of discussions at meetings held by Trilateral Industry since 2016 concerning the symposium.

At the Heads Meeting, in light of the results of the Heads-Industry Meeting, participants shared the recognition that the trilateral offices will also advance discussions concerning the symposium in June 2017 through their cooperative efforts.

(2) Improving services for priority documents exchange

At the Heads-Industry Meeting, participants mentioned efforts for electronic exchange of priority documents. Concerning this issue, the trilateral offices attracted the attention of Trilateral Industry to the recent improvement of the Digital Access Service (DAS), a system to exchange priority documents offered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), thereby dramatically facilitating user-friendliness in terms of accessibility to priority documents. On the other hand, Trilateral Industry expressed their expectation for future efforts by the trilateral offices.

(3) Review/reorganization of IP5 project

At the Heads Meeting, the heads of the trilateral offices discussed the future advancement of the revision to the IP5 projects, taking opportunity of the 10th year since the inauguration of the IP5 cooperation initiative, and they basically reached an agreement.

(4) Other issues

At the free-discussion session of the Heads Meeting, participants made discussions concerning ideal approaches to future IP systems, bearing in mind the environmental changes surrounding the field of IP caused by the recent outcomes of the fourth industrial revolution, e.g., IoT, big data and AI technologies.

2. Future actions

Through cooperation between the trilateral offices, the JPO will endeavor to make progress in the development of global patent systems that will enable industry in Japan and overseas to cost-effectively acquire patent rights with high predictability from an international point of view.

Participants of the meeting:
JPO: Mr. Yoshinori Komiya, commissioner, and other officials
USPTO: Ms. Michelle K. Lee, director, and other officials
EPO: Mr. Benoît Battislelli, president, and other officials
Observers from WIPO: Mr. John Sandage, deputy director general, and other officials

Release date

March 31, 2017

Division in Charge

International Policy Division, Policy Planning and Coordination Department, Japan Patent Office

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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