USPTO Advances Cooperation with Foreign IP Leaders

Director Lee leads delegation and signs Memoranda of Understanding with 3 other IP Offices
October 8, 2015
Press Release 15-18

CONTACT: (Media Only)
Patrick Ross or Paul Fucito
(571) 272-8400 or patrick.ross@uspto.gov or paul.fucito@uspto.gov

Geneva, Switzerland – The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in a delegation led by Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Michelle K. Lee advanced international harmonization of intellectual property processes in a series of meetings this week in Geneva, Switzerland. While attending an annual governance meeting of the World Intellectual Property Organization Lee signed three separate Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with the European Patent Office (EPO), the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) and the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHIL).

"These three Memorandums of Understanding mark a significant milestone of achievement in patent cooperation between our offices," said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, Michelle K. Lee. "They will promote consistency in practices and spur greater innovation."

Details on the three new MoU:

  • USPTO and EPO MoU will help advance international adoption of the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) system while improving collaboration between the two patent offices. The MoU will also continue to promote CPC use by other patent offices. CPC currently is used by more than 45 patent offices and more than 25,000 examiners around the world.

  • USPTO and IPOS MoU will increase international prior art searches under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) will result from the MoU Lee signed with IPOS. IPOS will now act as an available International Searching Authority (ISA) and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) for certain patent applications filed with the USPTO under PCT.

  • USPTO and IPOPHIL MoU will expand existing collaboration between the two offices and strengthens cooperation by sharing best practices and undertaking joint activities to improve operations and harmonization of patent application processing.

  • In addition to signing three separate MoU Lee and her delegation:

  • Engaged in high-level discussions with leadership of multiple patent offices on advancing the Global Dossier initiative, a project the USPTO is developing with the other members of IP5, namely EPO, KIPO, SIPO, the Japan Patent Office (JPO).

  • Along with other Heads of Office from Europe, Japan, and Korea endorsed an objectives and principles document that formally memorializes standards for a harmonized patent system.

  • Promoted a significant initiative the USPTO is unveiling to assist in managing patent applications in multiple offices, and laid the groundwork for USPTO’s hosting of the 4th TM5 meeting of the world’s largest Trademark Offices in December.

For non-press inquiries, please contact Mary Critharis, (571) 272-9300 or email Mary.Critharis@uspto.gov.

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