[Source: State Intellectual Property Office of the P.R.C.]

The IP5 (EPO, JPO, KIPO, SIPO, and USPTO) gathered at Suzhou of Jiangsu Province on May 22nd 2015 for the 8th IP5 Conference. Besides the representatives of the five intellectual property offices, the Deputy Director General of the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) was also invited to witness the proceeding as an observer. The IP5 Collaboration was signed to establish better services for IPR owners. 

The IP5 Collaboration addresses the shared beliefs, current services in practice, main objectives of current tasks, and future collaboration among the IP5. Besides acknowledging the fruitful results of the cooperation in the past year, IP5 had also reached the agreement on the future plans during this conference. Future goals include analysis of global file wrappers/data statistics, training policies, and shorten the examination period for PPH. The representative of WIPO looks forward to what the IP5 collaboration will contribute to the enhancement of patent examination.

China also took this opportunity to launch the Cloud Patent Examination System (CPES) devised by SIPO. The system is displayed in 9 interfaces of different languages, in addition to 12 languages available for translation. The system will become a convenient platform for online communication and harmonization on patent examination. 

The IP services have become increasingly efficient and convenient ever since the IP5 started the collaboration in 2007, especially in 2012 when the domestic industries joined to contribute to enhancing IP services. These IP services provided include:

  1. Common application form: applicant only needs to file one application which will be admissible at any of the IP5 receiving offices.
  2. Cross-translation device:  the cross-translation device offers English translation of various languages that include Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. The device helps to minimize language barrier.
  3. Common citation: user can retrieve the most updated citation for the patent application filed with the IP5.
  4. IP5 PPH: once the patent application is deemed patentable by one of the IP5 offices, applicant can request for PPH at the other four offices.
  5. Accessibility of patent information: the public or collaborating companies can access patent information circulated among the IP5 offices for free or with marginal cost.
  6. Exchange of priority claim document: applicant does not need to provide a copy of the priority document to the second receiving office.
  7. Exchange of info on global file wrappers: One Portal Dossier (OPD) allows user to securely access the file wrapper information for patents and patent family on IP5 at a one-stop platform.
  8. Comprehensive categorization: examiners, applicants, and third parties are able to more conveniently access the prior art files.
  9. Website for the IP5 offices (www.fiveoffices.org): the website is provided for public to better understand and see the works of IP5 collaboration.

In order to further enhance the quality of IP services, the Heads of the IP5 agreed to launch the following tasks:

  1. Improve online patent information services: enable the public to better access and make use of patent file wrapper information without barriers.
  2. Continue to promote the works of Patent Harmonization Experts Panel (PHEP): further collaborte on issues of patent unity, prior art citations, specification drafting and full disclosure in order to enhance the efficiency of patent application procedure and to reduce the costs.
  3. Make IP5 PPH more user-friendly: via a common IP5 PPH request form, the IP5 PPH service shall be enhanced and better used by the users.
  4. Enhance user support services: the current resources available at each of the IP5 offices will contribute to enhancing the support services for small enterprises, universities, and individuals.
  5. Increase the transparency of IP5 collaboration: the IP5 offices website will become advanced enough to be open and accessible to the users. The IP5 statistical data will continue to be compiled and made available for users to have a better understanding of IP5 collaboration.

The Heads of the IP5 also plan to use the current available resources to promote the IP5 collaboration. The plans are summarized as  below:

  1. Strengthen the common platform shared among IP5: continue to improve basic facilities and tools required for the IP5 common tasks.
  2. Cooperate to enhance the quality of examination: continue to hold IP5 quality control conference. The IP5 will continue to work together to improve categorization, search engines, and examination procedure in order to achieve the stability of patent rights.
  3. Strengthen IP5 collaboration on PCT application: searches and examination quality will need to be improved.
  4. Encourage IP5 to share experiences: such experiences may include support services provided to applicants and promotions of IPR awareness.