The European Patent Office (EPO) extended its Global Dossier Service to include file wrapper data from the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in June this year. This means that registers at the world’s five largest intellectual property offices (USPTO, the Chinese Patent Office (SIPO), the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) and the South Korean Patent Office (KIPO)) – which together handle around 80% of the world’s patent applications and 95% of PCT applications – are now all easily accessible through the EPO.

The Global Dossier service provides click-through access from espacenet search results to the register details of a patent application filed at the USPTO, allowing rapid inspection of documents filed on the national register and inspection of the status of an application or patent.  Similarly, click through access to the Chinese, Japanese and South Korean registers is also available and translations of the documents into English are provided for these countries. The EPO register continues to be available.

The Global Dossier provides a useful addition to the European Register and allows for a more efficient review of the procedural status of a patent or patent application corresponding to a European application.  It is to be hoped that given the existing links between the EPO register and national registers for European patents that this cooperation can be extended further in the future.