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IP5 Offices Agree on New Vision Taking the Opportunity of the 10th Year Since the Inauguration of the IP5 Cooperation Initiative Results of the Tenth IP5 Heads Meeting of the JPO, USPTO, EPO, SIPO and KIPO

On June 1, 2017, the world’s five largest intellectual property (IP5) offices, namely the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the European Patent Office (EPO), the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO) and the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), held the Tenth IP5 Heads Meeting in Valletta, the Republic of Malta.

At the meeting, taking the opportunity of celebrating ten years of IP5 cooperation, the heads of the IP5 offices agreed on a new vision for IP5 cooperation as follows to promote an efficient, cost-effective and user-friendly international patent landscape: [i] patent harmonization of practices and procedures, [ii] enhanced work-sharing, [iii] high-quality and timely search and examination results, and [iv] seamless access to patent information. In addition, the offices also agreed on the IP5 Joint Statement, showing future directions in which the cooperation among the offices should aim.

The IP5 offices also agreed on the date to start a pilot framework for testing a collaborative preparation of international search reports for international applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).

1. Outline

The number of patent applications filed with the IP5 offices was 2.38 million in 2015, accounting for around 80% of all patent applications of 2.88 million being filed worldwide in the same year.

To address this situation, since the launching in 2007 to take a lead in global-level efforts in the field of IP, the IP5 offices have been holding the heads meetings on a regular basis to address efforts for broadly cooperating in overcoming challenges, including mutual utilization of examination results as well as streamlining procedures therefor and improvement of examination quality. This was the tenth meeting.

In line with the heads meeting, the IP5 offices held a meeting with IP5 users on the day before the heads meeting, and participants proactively exchanged views concerning the IP protection in the era of the fourth industrial revolution and other issues.

2. Outline of the results of the Tenth IP5 Heads Meeting

1) New vision for IP5 cooperation

Ten years have passed since the start of the IP5 cooperation. During this period, the IP5 offices have been committed to efforts of the existing IP5 vision, mainly focusing on work-sharing, and are about to achieve the goals of the vision. Moreover, in recent years, the IP5 offices have been expanding the scope of their activities, as seen in the proactive advancement of cooperation in enhancing patent harmonization of related practices and procedures, quality improvement and services for patent information provision such as Global Dossier, as well as the inclusion of an approach to enhancing a relationship with users into the IP5 joint statements.

In light of these changes in surrounding environments, at the tenth IP5 Heads Meeting, the heads of the IP5 offices agreed on a new vision for IP5 cooperation as follows to promote an efficient, cost-effective and user-friendly international patent landscape: [i] patent harmonization of practices and procedures, [ii] enhanced work-sharing, [iii] high-quality and timely search and examination results, and [iv] seamless access to patent information.

Following this, the offices will advance the reorganization of their cooperative framework based on the new vision.

2) Outline of the IP5 Joint Statement

In line with the new vision, the IP5 offices agreed on the IP5 Joint Statement, stipulating the following four future efforts as directions in which the cooperation among the offices should aim.

  1. Pursuing efforts towards patent harmonization of practices and procedures within the IP5
    The IP5 offices 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.
  2. Optimizing quality management
    The IP5 offices aim to work towards the continuous improvement of patent quality and the delivery of high quality examination results and services.
  3. Maximizing the work-sharing potential within the IP5
    The IP5 offices plan to continue to work with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) towards optimizing the solid functioning of the PCT system, including testing a collaborative concept for international searches under the PCT, and explore other work-sharing options tailored to the changing examination environment.
  4. Improving patent information services
    The IP5 offices strive to intensify work on the Global Dossier taking into account users’ needs, and promote easy access to and in-depth utilization of patent information.

3) Collaborative search and examination under the PCT

At the Ninth IP5 Heads Meeting in June 2016, the IP5 offices agreed on the launching of a pilot framework for the collaborative search and examination under the PCT .* Since then, the offices have held discussions on this issue at the working level, and finally agreed that they aim to launch the pilot framework on May 1, 2018. This framework is expected to facilitate users to access more reliable search reports at the global level.

*Note: The term “collaborative search and examination under the PCT” refers to a framework under which the primary and secondary patent offices collaboratively decide on the patentability of a PCT international application, prepare an international search report and other documents involving the application, and provide them to the applicant.

3. Future actions

Under the new vision for IP5 cooperation, the JPO will advance the development of global patent systems, aiming to provide users inside and outside Japan with services to meet their needs for patent systems.

Participants of the heads meeting:
JPO: Mr. Yoshinori Komiya, commissioner, and other officials
USPTO: Ms. Michelle K. Lee, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director , and other officials
EPO: Mr. Raimund Lutz, vice-president, and other officials
SIPO: Mr. Shen Changyu, commissioner, and other officials
KIPO: Mr. Lee, Acting Commissioner, and other officials
Observers from WIPO: Mr. John Sandage, deputy director general, and other officials

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(From the left) JPO Commissioner Komiya, USPTO Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director Lee, EPO President Battislelli, SIPO Commissioner Shen, KIPO Mr. Lee, a representative person in place of the commissioner, and WIPO Deputy Director General Sandage


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JPO Commissioner Komiya

Release date

June 2, 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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