The patent offices of Europe (EPO), the United States (USPTO) and Japan (JPO) met this week in Kyoto, Japan, commemorating the 30th anniversary of the trilateral agreement between them. During the conference, the offices repledged their plans to improve patent systems through work-sharing. In praising their past efforts, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos stated that “[t]hese work-sharing efforts have brought the resources of the world’s leading patent authorities to bear on improving the quality of examination processes and reducing the processing time for patent applications.”
Most applicants are already aware of the Patent Prosecution Highway, a means to fast-track a patent application in one patent office if claims in a corresponding application in another patent office have been deemed patentable. During the Trilateral Conference, Director Kappos mentioned the Global Dossier Initiative, a proposed system scheduled to be integrated into the IP5 offices (the patent offices of Europe, Japan, South Korea, China and the USA) by Spring 2013.
For patent applicants, the Global Dossier Initiative envisions a single online platform that will facilitate cross-filings into various offices, eliminate the need to file duplicate documents for each application, and provide cost savings through improved mechanical translations. The portal will also link examiners across patent offices, allowing them to collaborate and exchange information.
As international patent filing becomes a greater focus in nearly every applicant’s current and future IP strategy, the development of a global patent portal will surely simplify an often confusing and intimidating undertaking. We at inovia are all about online portals, having developed our own one-stop online platform for creating filing cost estimates and providing instructions for direct Paris Convention filings, PCT national stage entries, European patent validations and patent translations. Interested in learning more? Feel free to register for a free inovia account here.