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NEW ORLEANS - The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hosted the annual meeting of the heads of the world’s five largest intellectual property offices, commonly referred to as the IP5. In addition to the USPTO, the members of the IP5 include the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), and the State Intellectual Property Office of the People's Republic of China (SIPO). Together, the five offices handle approximately 80 percent of the world’s patent applications.
“Over the past 10 years, the IP5 offices have cooperated to implement their vision of eliminating unnecessary duplication of work and enhancing patent examination efficiency and quality,” said Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director for the USPTO. “We are honored to host the Heads of Office here today in New Orleans as we look for ways to advance our efforts to the changing global patent landscape and evolving user needs by focusing on harmonized patent practices and procedures, lower costs, and reduced burden on inventors filing patents across multiple jurisdictions. “
In addition to USPTO Director Iancu, meeting participants included Benoît Battistelli, President of the EPO; Naoko Munakata, Commissioner of the JPO; Sung Yunmo, Commissioner of KIPO, and Shen Changyu, Commissioner of SIPO. In addition, John Sandage, Deputy Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization, attended as an observer.
During the meeting, the IP5 Heads of Office endorsed the continuation of work on IP5 initiatives related to the classification of emerging technologies, the future developments in the Global Dossier, the harmonization of patent practices and procedures and enhanced work sharing, in particular a collaborative approach to international searches under the PCT. They adopted the recommendations of a yearlong assessment of the IP5 program that will deliver the most value to stakeholders. In addition, the IP5 Heads also discussed other important issues, including the interplay between patents and standards. The impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the patent system was identified as one of the main IP5 strategic priorities to be the subject of common reflection.
In a separate meeting, the five Heads of Office met with representatives of industry groups from the five regions known collectively as the IP5 Industry to update them on important recent developments and engage in a dialogue on IP topics of strategic nature, such as quality and the further development of IP5 cooperation. Both the Heads of Office and industry representatives pledged to maintain an open dialogue on the future direction of IP5 cooperation and strategic topics of importance to both groups.
The next IP5 Heads of Office meeting will be hosted by KIPO in 2019.
More information on the IP5 cooperation can be found at www.fiveipoffices.org.
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