Silicon Valley played host to delegates from the world's five largest intellectual property offices (IP5) last week, continuing the conversation toward greater harmonization of international patent management mechanisms.
Collectively, patent offices across the United States, Europe, China, Korea and Japan process nine out of 10 applications filed worldwide. As a result, much of the discussion centered on removing data access barriers between the entities to promote more intelligent analysis of potential areas in need of administrative improvement. Additionally, all parties signed on to a new Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program between the five offices intended to expedite review processes.
"Through our efforts in classification, work sharing, procedural and substantive law harmonization, the IP5 is truly leading the world in addressing the full gamut of intellectual property challenges and I am certain we will succeed in meeting them all in the end," Teresa Stanek Rea, acting director of the USPTO, explained.
In the days leading up to the conference, the Chinese State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) made perhaps the biggest move of the week by committing to the same Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) system used by its American and European equivalents. According to PCWorld, additional agreements from Japan and Korea could quickly create a virtuous cycle between faster prosecution and higher patent quality.