Five main intellectual property offices (IP5, European Patent Office, Japanese Patent Office, Korean Intellectual Property Office, State Intellectual Property Office of P.R.C, and United States Patent and Trademark Office) held the 8th Meeting of the Heads of the Five Intellectual Property Offices on May 22, 2015 in Suzhou, China. Further tasks concerning cooperation between the five offices was discussed by the heads of the five offices, and the mission of the five offices to provide better services to their customers and the public was reaffirmed.

Agreement under the five offices:

  1. Intellectual property plays a vital role in promoting technology innovation and economic development under the background of economic globalization;
  2. The five offices will make further effort to provide service in good quality for their customers and the public; to make the tree of innovation luxuriant under the irrigation of intellectual property;
  3. The already achieved results of the cooperation between the five offices have brought convenience for their customers and the public of the five countries/regions. Meanwhile, the participation of the current customers has provided advantages for the cooperation of the five offices;
  4. Further enforcement of cooperation between the five offices is an important method of providing better service to the customers and the public;
  5. The five offices will make efforts to provide better service to their customers and the public, to enforce the function of intellectual property in the encouragement of innovation, and to promote economic and social development.

Services provided by the cooperation of the five offices

The services provided since the cooperation between the five offices in 2007 mainly includes:

  • The same application format – the applicant only needs to prepare one standard application, which is accepted by all of the five offices;
  • Translation services – providing translation between Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, to help users remove the language barrier when reading patent information;
  • Common citation of reference documents – customers can easily obtain the latest application citation information of the five offices;
  • Five offices PPH – if an application submitted to any one of the five offices is regarded as patentable, the applicant can request the PPH program of the corresponding application from any one of the other four offices;
  • Patent information policy – the public or a third party can obtain the patent information data under the five offices for free or with marginal cost;
  • Exchange priority – applicants do not need to file a copy of the priority document before the second acceptance bureau;
  • Information exchange under global filings: single interface file information access (OPD) – enables customers to obtain patent file and family file information of the five offices in a one stop and safe manner;
  • Improve the current category system to convenience examiners, so the applicants and other interested parties can more easily obtain current technology documents;
  • Improve the homepage of the five offices (www.fiveoffice.org) so the public can obtain general information regarding the cooperation and development of the five offices.

Current important tasks

In order to improve the service level, heads of the five offices reached agreement that the following tasks should be carried out as a focal point:

  • Improve patent information services in the internet environment

&8226; Push related global filing tasks forward to achieve greater performance based on customers’ demand. Help customers and the public obtain patent information without barriers and make deep use of patent information;

  • Further improve the work of the Patent Harmonization Experts Panel (PHEP) to achieve greater results

&8226; Further research and cooperation will be carried out on the subjects such as invention uniqueness, current technology citation, specification composition and publication, and other patent harmonization issues to improve the efficiency of the patent application procedure and reduce costs;

  • Strengthen customers’ friendliness of the five offices’ PPH

&8226; Five offices PPH is further improved by proper means, such as using the same PPH request form, so that the customers can make use of the five offices PPH more efficiently and more convenient;

  • Enhance the customers’ supporting service

&8226; Make use of the five offices’ resources and provide supporting services for large and small enterprises, universities, individuals, etc. to help them make good use of the intellectual property system;

  • Improve transparency of the five offices’ cooperation

&8226; Make efforts to improve the procurability of the five offices’ cooperation information on the five offices’ homepage and further provide the five offices’ statistical data so that the customers better understand the development of the five offices.

Five offices’ future cooperation plan 

  • Improve work sharing mechanisms under the five offices

&8226; Further improve the infrastructure and tools for work sharing, push substantive performance of work sharing related projects, improve work efficiency;

  • Improve the quality of patent examination by cooperation

&8226; Hold the five offices quality management conference as usual, further cooperate on the practice of categorization, search, and examination to improve the quality of patent examination and to promote the stability of patent right;

  • Improve the five offices’ cooperation on PCT

&8226; Improve the communication and cooperation between the five offices on PCT system development, improve the PCT application, search, and examination quality, and strengthen the legal stability for users and the public;

  • Strengthen experience sharing between the five offices

&8226; Strengthen experience sharing between the five offices regarding customer service, including supporting services for the applicant, promoting intellectual property awareness, and promoting appropriate related services or best practices to the customers.