Senator Kim Carr, the Australian Federal Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Technology, today (21 March 2011) announced the launch of a new work sharing tool that will enable patent examiners in Australia, Canada and New Zealand to share a digital library of patent search and examination reports. The new tool will be known as the Centralised Access to Search and Examination (CASE) System and will assist patent examiners in the three countries to share resources and to increase the speed of patent examination. It is hoped that use of the new CASE system will contribute to reduction in patent examination backlogs in the countries involved.
Senator Carr announced that "CASE will help us create an IP system that will better meet the needs of innovators and users of IP. This is an example of how international collaboration between WIPO and the IP offices of Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom is improving innovation and the innovation systems in those countries".
Further details about this initiative are available at http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/pdfs/news/MR170311_case.pdf.