International Patent Cooperation

The Office of International Patent Cooperation (OIPC) was established in 2014 to support and improve the international patent system. The office leads efforts to assist U.S. inventors and businesses in protecting their patent rights worldwide and supports the global innovation community. 

We strive to improve the international patent system in two critical areas: increasing certainty of intellectual property (IP) rights and reducing costs for international stakeholders. Find out more about our initiatives and programs, which aim to improve quality and timeliness for international patent filers.

Featured programs and services

Access to Relevant Prior Art Initiative 
Increasing patent examination quality and efficiency through automatically importing relevant prior art and other pertinent information into pending U.S. patent applications as early as possible.  

Global Dossier 
Providing stakeholders with secure, one-stop access to related applications across the IP5, the five largest patent offices in the world.

Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) 
A joint partnership between the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the European Patent Office to harmonize their existing classification systems and migrate towards a common classification scheme.

Collaborative Search Pilot Program (CSP)
Providing 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.

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

Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
An international treaty making it possible to seek patent protection for an invention simultaneously in a large number of countries by filing a single “international” patent application instead of filing several separate national or regional patent applications.

PCT Collaborative Search & Examination Pilot: Examiners from the IP5 offices collaborating on the search and examination of a single international application, resulting in an international search report (ISR) and written opinion (WO) from the chosen International Searching Authority (ISA) based on contributions from all participating offices.

Hague Agreement concerning the international registration of industrial designs
An international registration system which offers the possibility of obtaining protection for up to 100 industrial designs in designated member countries and intergovernmental organizations by filing a single international application in a single language.

Priority Document Exchange (PDX)
Avoids fees associated with ordering, filing, and transmitting certified priority documents to separate foreign IP offices.

International Authority Files
The main purpose of the authority file of published patent documents is to allow all interested parties to assess the completeness of the available patent documentation from the industrial property office (IPO) that generated the authority file.  The USPTO authority files, and information about international standardization for these files, is available on the USPTO authority file webpage

Stakeholder resources

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