Office of International Patent Cooperation (OIPC)
The OIPC is comprised of five offices: the International Patent Legal Administration, International Worksharing Planning and Implementation, International Patent Business Solutions, the Office of Patent Classification and the International Liaison Staff.
See more about the USPTO and International Cooperation
International Patent Legal Administration (IPLA)
The IPLA (formerly the Office of PCT Legal Administration) educates and assists the patent community, develops policy and resolves legal issues relating to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs and other international cooperative patent projects or agreements, such as the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH). The IPLA decides petitions to the Commissioner in international applications filed under the PCT and in U.S. national stage applications submitted under 35 U.S.C. 371.
- Provides training courses to help patent applicants and practitioners file PCT applications
- Provides instruction to patent examiners at the USPTO concerning the search and examination of PCT applications
- Provides direct assistance to the public regarding PCT applications
- Interprets and/or suggests changes to patent laws and rules and studies their effect on the Patent Cooperation Treaty
- Deals with other aspects of international patent law such as harmonization, the Patent Law Treaty, and electronic filing
International Worksharing Planning and Implementation (IWPI)
IWPI is responsible for the strategic planning and implementation of international Worksharing pilots, programs and initiatives at the USPTO. This division works closely with USPTO Patents Operations as well as International IP Offices to improve the international patent system in terms of increased certainty of IP rights, improved efficiency of the IP system and reduced costs for stakeholders.
Work Sharing is part of an overall strategic program to promote global patent protection. Bilateral or multilateral activities are conducted in parallel with other initiatives such as substantive patent law harmonization and Patent Cooperation Treaty reform discussions within the World Intellectual Property Organization.
International Patent Business Solutions (IPBS)
The IPBS team identifies, evaluates, and defines information technology (IT) solutions supporting international users of the patent system. This includes assuring routine internal operations are sustained while innovative and relevant solutions towards global patent quality are developed and implemented. IPBS collaborates with internal USPTO partners and external global patent stakeholders. The IPBS Director advises the Deputy Commissioner for International Patent Cooperation (IPC) on technical issues and strategies that most effectively advance the goals of the IPC and the Office.
Office of Patent Classification (OPC)/ International Liaison Staff (ILS)
OPC is responsible for administering the development and maintenance of the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) and United States Patent Classification (USPC) systems. OPC supports Technology Centers in developing and maintaining the patent classification systems searched by examiners and the public. OPC also contributes to IP5 Working Group on Classification and International Patent Classification (IPC) system to enable searches of unified classification schemes that yield both US and foreign documents.