International Patent Cooperation

"The establishment of the Office of International Patent Cooperation reflects the USPTO's strong commitment to the IP community in improving the international patent system," said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Michelle Lee. "It will allow us to increase certainty of IP rights while reducing costs for our stakeholders and moving towards a harmonized patent system." 

The USPTO's Office of International Patent Cooperation efforts will improve the quality, efficiency, and predictability of the patent family prosecution-increasing the certainty of global patent rights. 

In 2017, to expand OIPC's collaborative initiatives with the global patent community, OIPC established the International Outreach and Administration (IOA) Division.  This division coordinates OIPC's outreach program and performs analytical functions for its numerous international programs. Jessica Patterson, the IOA Director, serves as a recognized senior advisor on OIPC’s outreach activities, as well as strategic planning, program analysis, and related analytical functions performed in support of the OIPC mission.

OIPC initiatives include:

► Collaborative Search Pilot Program (CSP) CSP provides applicants who cross-file their patent applications internationally with search results from multiple Offices early in the examination process. This allows the applicant to determine their next steps in patent prosecution. Due to the success of the initial CSP, the USPTO has expanded CSP to combine the most successful characteristics and user feedback from our initial pilot into a single process.

► Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) The Cooperative Patent Classification effort is a joint partnership between the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the European Patent Office to harmonize their existing classification systems (European Classification (ECLA) and United States Patent Classification (USPC) respectively) and migrate towards a common classification scheme.

► Global Dossier Global Dossier provides all stakeholders with secure, one-stop access to related applications across the IP5 (link is external), the five largest patent offices in the world.

► Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) The Patent Prosecution Highway speeds up the examination process for corresponding applications filed in participating intellectual property offices. 

► International Patent Legal Administration The International Patent Legal Administration educates and assists the patent community, develops policy, and resolves legal issues. The administration covers the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs, and the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH).

We want your input! Please send us your feedback and ideas regarding international patent cooperation to OIPC@USPTO.GOV or call us at 1-571-272-2472.

Previous Efforts in International Patent Cooperation