Why the IP5 cooperation is a success story - A comment piece
by Elena Bertolotto, Senior Legal Adviser
The harmonisation of patent procedures is key to ensure legal certainty, cost reductions and efficiency, especially for businesses which file patent applications in multiple jurisdictions.
Since its creation in 2014, the IP5 – a forum of the five largest intellectual property offices in the world – has delivered on a number of important achievements, also thanks to the involvement of industry. For instance, the Common Citation Document database allows users to search patent citations across the members of a patent family, and the Global Dossier allows the access to file wrappers of IP5 patent family members in a single location.
Currently, the IP5 handles about 80 per cent of the world's patent applications, and 95 per cent of all work carried out under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).
Once a year the heads of the IP5 offices meet with their industry counterparts. BusinessEurope has been involved in IP5 co-operation for more than a decade and has greatly contributed with input to the IP5 offices together with its industry/users counterparts in the USA, Japan, South Korea and China.
This year their annual high-level meetings were hosted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Honolulu, Hawaii, on the week of 12 June. The IP5 Heads and users’ representatives exchanged on progress in their joint initiatives and acknowledged the importance of innovation in providing solutions towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development (SDG).
On this, the IP5 Offices presented their perspective as well as current and future initiatives to mitigate climate change. Users’ representatives stressed the importance to continue progress on the ongoing IP5 projects which are expected to bring benefits to patent users worldwide, ultimately contributing to accelerating access to innovation needed for the sustainable transition. A particular attention was also given to the implementation of the IP5 New Emerging Technologies/Artificial Intelligence (NET/AI) roadmap, efforts to harmonise e-signatures before the five offices, format and drawings requirements, and the exploration of creating a global assignment. More information on these meetings can be found here.
For the future cooperation, we expect the IP5 offices to continue working on the projects which could really bring benefits to businesses, such as the harmonisation of e-signature requirements and global assignment. This latter project would allow users to file the same assignment form to the five offices without having to file a different form per each office significantly, reducing costs and administrative burdens.
In addition, IP5 co-operation should promote the benefits of intellectual property to innovation, competitiveness and society as a whole. To achieve all these ambitious goals, it is key that the IP5 offices continue involving users in their discussions as the success is the result of a joint effort.