| Europäisches Patentamt

IP5 focus co-operation on initiatives that benefit users

The heads of the world’s five largest intellectual
property offices (IP5) met virtually on 23 June for their 14th annual meeting. They
took stock of major achievements in their co-operation initiatives over the
past year and noted the significance of aligning practices to meet the needs of
users, especially with a view to boosting economic recovery in the wake of the

To this end, the IP5 is designing a roadmap
to address new emerging technologies and artificial intelligence (NET/AI). The
roadmap will outline collaborative opportunities for the offices to enhance
operational efficiency and services, as well as take into consideration new
challenges concerning the acquisition of rights to these technologies.

Two new IP5 projects are intended to further
improve the alignment of patent practices and procedures among the offices, to
help make patent prosecution more efficient, cost-effective and user-friendly: a
global assignment to harmonize streamlined procedures for the transfer of
rights; and a project to standardise requirements regarding size, colour/monochrome
and other features allowed in drawings.

A separate meeting took place between the heads
of office and industry associations from the IP5 regions, namely: the American Intellectual
Property Law Association (AIPLA); BusinessEurope (BE); the Intellectual
Property Owners Association (IPO); the Japan Intellectual Property Association
(JIPA); the Korea Intellectual Property Association (KINPA); and the Patent
Protection Association of China (PPAC). The IP5 industry associations expressed
their support for the IP5 offices‘ initiatives and confirmed that they will
continue to engage in dialogue and co-operation with the IP5 offices and

The IP5 offices reaffirmed that intellectual
property (IP) plays an essential role in protecting and promoting innovations
to help overcome COVID-19 and boost economic recovery. They then exchanged
insights into their respective initiatives to help address social challenges through
the use of intellectual property rights (IPRs), and acknowledged the necessity of
taking a long-term perspective on IPRs and the integral
role that IPRs play in addressing social challenges.

The next IP5 heads of office meeting will mark
the tenth anniversary of meetings with IP5 industry associations and be hosted
by the EPO in June 2022. The meeting will focus on the accessibility of the IP
system for users and the promotion of a strong IP culture.