June 15, 2018
The Japan Patent Office
On June 14, 2018, the 11th IP5 Heads Meeting was held in New Orleans, the United States, bringing together the heads of the world’s five largest intellectual property (IP) offices--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).
At the meeting, the heads of the IP5 offices delivered briefings on the current situation of discussions to revise the IP5 cooperative framework and agreed on the assessment results of related projects of the IP5 offices.
In addition, they agreed on new work policies concerning prioritized efforts for the Global Dossier.
Furthermore, they agreed to launch a pilot project on July 1, 2018 to test Collaborative Search & Examination (CS&E) under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), i.e. a framework in which the IP5 offices work together to prepare International Search Reports (ISRs) under the PCT.
The number of patent applications filed with the IP5 offices was 2.65 million in 2016, accounting for approximately 80% of all 3.13 million patent applications being filed worldwide in the same year.
In light of this situation, since the launch of the IP5 Heads Meeting in 2007 to take a lead in global-level efforts in the field of IP, the IP5 offices have been holding these meetings on a regular basis to address efforts for broadly cooperating in overcoming challenges, including mutual utilization of and organizing procedures for examination results and improvement of examination quality.
2. Outline of the results of the 11th IP5 Heads Meeting
- Revision of the IP5 cooperative framework
The IP5 offices have been revising the IP5 cooperative framework in accordance with the vision for IP5 cooperation, which was agreed at the heads meeting in 2017. At the 2018 meeting, the heads of IP5 offices delivered briefings on the current respective situations of domestic discussions on this revision, assessed whether to continue or finish ongoing projects, and agreed on the assessment results concerning these projects. This agreement allows the IP5 offices to allocate more resources to the projects that the heads determined to continue and it is expected to help the offices accelerate these projects.
The IP5 offices will revise the IP5 cooperative framework in light of the agreed assessment results.
- Efforts for encouraging users to access examination-related information (dossier information) and to make further use of such information
Aiming to encourage users to access dossier information and make further use of it, the IP5 offices identified prioritized efforts for the Global Dossier,* calling them the “five priorities,”** and since then, over the last three years, they have been advancing related work. Taking the opportunity of the 2018 meeting, the JPO proposed new work policies for the five priorities and the other IP5 offices agreed on this proposal.
In particular, the JPO, serving as a leading office of the project for providing application and procedure documents in XML format, will aim to develop an environment in which users can extract and analyze examination information of the IP5 offices across fields, and it will start efforts for assigning XML tags to data at the level of the IP5 offices.
*1: The term “Global Dossier” refers to a concept in which the IP5 offices will have their systems collaborate so as to share dossier information with general users and achieve new services.
**2: The term “five priorities” refers to efforts that the IP5 offices identified in response to a request from business interests as those that the offices should tackle by priority for the Global Dossier, consisting of: [i] providing application and procedure documents in XML format, [ii] inter-office sharing of application and procedure documents, [iii] providing legal status of application at IP5 level, [iv] providing alerting functions to announce changes in related information on applications and examinations at IP5 level, and [v] standardization of applicants’ names.
- Collaborative Search and Examination (CS&E) under the PCT
At the 10th IP5 Heads Meeting in 2017, the IP5 offices agreed on the launch of a pilot framework for collaborative search and examination under the PCT.*** Since then, the offices have held working-level discussions on this issue and finally agreed that they will aim to launch the pilot framework on July 1, 2018. This framework will facilitate access to more reliable search reports at the global level for users.
***3: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 involving the application, and provide them to the applicant.
Participants of the meeting:
JPO: Ms. Naoko Munakata, commissioner, and other officials
USPTO: Mr. Andrei Iancu, director, and other officials
EPO: Mr. Benoit Battistelli, president, and other officials
SIPO: Mr. Shen Changyu, commissioner, and other officials
KIPO: Mr. Sung Yunmo, commissioner, and other officials
Observers from WIPO: Mr. John Sandage, deputy director general, and other officials
Group photo of the heads of the IP5 offices
(From left to right) Commissioner Shen, Commissioner Sung, Director Iancu, President Battistelli, Commissioner Munakata, and Deputy Director General Sandage
Division in Charge
International Policy Division, JPO