The heads of the worlds five largest intellectual property offices agreed to move ahead on ten Foundation Projects, to provide a framework to support work-sharing, at a meeting in Guilin, China last week.
The five IP offices, or IP5, are the European Patent Office (EPO); the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The meeting was also attended by the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organisation, Francis Gurry, as an observer.
The heads agreed the ten Foundation Projects are crucial in building a work-sharing environment and expressed their willingness to explore appropriate ways to speed up the process.
The importance of transparency in the IP5 process was agreed, as was the need for effective communication among the five offices, particularly with and between examiners, and with stakeholders.
Underlining the importance of the WIPO-administered Patent Cooperation Treaty in work-sharing, the five heads reaffirmed their commitment to collaborating with WIPO to improve the system, so its role can be further strengthened, as the vehicle for efficient work-sharing.
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Author: Science|Business reporting