The IP5 launched in 2007 as a forum for the world’s five largest patent offices to exchange views and identify opportunities for cooperation with regard to common challenges, including patent examination workloads, backlogs, patent quality, and inefficiencies in the international patent system. Beginning in 2012, the IP5 expanded its collaboration and transparency with stakeholders by incorporating a meeting with industry representatives from the IP5 regions at its annual meetings.
The members of IP5 are the European Patent Office, the Japan Patent Office, the Korean Intellectual Property Office, the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China, and the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Major results of IP5 cooperation
Based on the forum’s original vision to eliminate unnecessary duplication of work among the offices, to enhance patent examination efficiency and quality, and to guarantee the stability of patent rights, major results from the first 10 years of IP5 cooperation include:
- Global Dossier, a set of business services providing IP stakeholders free, secure, one-stop access to the dossier information of all applications that comprise a family and have been filed in participating offices;
- Common Citation Document (CCD), a compilation of citation data relating to a patent family treated by the IP5 offices, available online, free of charge, and on a single page;
- IP5 Common Application Format (CAF), a standardized format for various application sections with the respective IP5 offices;
- Priority Document Exchange (PDX), a program to exchange documents between offices, thus reducing the burden associated with ordering, filing, and transmitting certified priority documents to separate foreign IP offices;
- IP5 Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH), a method to accelerate the examination and prosecution process for corresponding applications in IP5 offices;
- IP5 Patent Information Policy, a framework for exchanging and disseminating patent information in the IP5 region;
- IP5 Global Dossier Task Force and the IP5 Industry Consultation Group, which provide platforms for incorporating users’ views on technical projects;
- IP5 Quality Management Meeting (QMM), a platform for the IP5 offices to share quality management experiences, with an aim to deliver high-quality products to the users;
- Mutual Machine Translation (MMT), an initiative to provide fast, automatic translations of documents in the IP5 languages;
- improvements to existing classification systems, making prior art and patent information more readily accessible to examiners, applicants, and other stakeholders.
IP5’s strategic vision
To meet the evolving needs of the international patent community, in 2017 the member offices of the IP5 redefined their strategic vision of cooperation as:
- patent harmonization of practices and procedures,
- enhanced work-sharing,
- high-quality and timely search and examination results, and
- seamless access to patent information to promote an efficient, cost-effective, and user-friendly international patent landscape.