Participants at USPTO-hosted Asia-Pacific Patent Cooperation Forum Report Productive Discussions on Patent Harmonization

Press Release

CONTACT: Peter Pappas or Jennifer Rankin Byrne
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Washington - On March 7-8, 2011, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hosted a two-day meeting with representatives from Asia-Pacific economies to discuss the importance and future of substantive patent law harmonization. Under Secretary of Commerce for IP and USPTO Director David J. Kappos brought together these representatives on the margins of the APEC meetings to open up a dialogue and revive discussions on substantive harmonization.

Statement of Participants at Asia-Pacific Cooperation in the 21st Century Forum

"The participants of the Asia-Pacific Patent Cooperation Forum felt that the discussions were fruitful, and will serve as an impetus toward future discussions on harmonization.

"The time for substantive harmonization is now. We are operating in a global economy, business innovation is happening across borders. The IP system needs to be supportive of this new reality.

"Our discussions over the last two days have resulted in a better understanding of each other's situations. There has been an ample airing of the issues and this has created a solid foundation for continuing discussions on harmonization.

"If it is to be successful, this future work must be taken global and also must continue to include both developing and developed members. Since this was an Asia-Pacific event, not all patent jurisdictions were present. An important next step would involve engagement with those other jurisdictions, leading to further consultations on a global basis.

"Finally, we also need to acknowledge the positive contributions from our private sector colleagues in these discussions and continue to solicit their views."

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