USPTO and KIPO sign a Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Cooperation

Press Release

CONTACT: Jennifer Rankin Byrne
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Washington, D.C. -The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) today announced the signing of a United States-Republic of Korea memorandum of understanding (MOU) regarding comprehensive cooperation on patents.

Commissioner of KIPO Dr. Jung-Sik Koh and the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Jon Dudas signed the MOU during a bilateral meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, on September 23.

The focus of the MOU is to promote work-sharing by harmonizing the patent examination environment of the Republic of Korea and the U.S. With work-sharing arrangements, each office can take advantage of the examination results of the other office for its own patent examinations. To create this environment, the two countries plan to move forward with various projects, including the establishment of a common search database, the development of a standardized patent classification system, common examiner training, and greater utilization of each other's examination results. The goal of the bilateral cooperation is to allow each office to better use of each other's resources and encourage reutilization of the work already done by the other office.

"The MOU would further strengthen the strategic alliance between KIPO and USPTO," said Dr. Koh. "By promoting work-sharing through a harmonious patent examination environment, Korean and U.S. applicants will acquire high-quality patents more conveniently in both countries."

"This memorandum marks the growing cooperative relationship between our two offices," said Under Secretary Dudas. "These initiatives will enable us to leverage the work and the expertise of each office in order to avoid duplication of work and ensure the highest quality examination."

The two patent offices plan to have several working-level meetings later this year to start planning the implementation of these the cooperative projects of the MOU.