Trilateral Offices agree on a new vision statement

The new vision statement of the Trilateral offices has been agreed, which originates from the 38th Trilateral Conference in December 2020. During the virtual conference, the heads of the European Patent Office (EPO), Japan Patent Office (JPO) and United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) committed to jointly develop the new future direction for the Trilateral Co-operation.

The new vision recognises the importance of a common approach to support and promote innovation, and optimise the international patent landscape for the benefit of the society. The Trilateral also acknowledge the importance of the international harmonisation of the patent system and the co-operation with Trilateral Industry in response to global challenges. Specifically, the new vision statement reflects the Trilateral’s endeavours to:

  • coordinate their responses to the current and future global challenges of the patent system,
  • collectively adapt to technical advances and changes affecting the IP environment,
  • advance and strengthen their co-operation with users, and
  • co-operate as a think tank on devising innovative concepts for enhanced collaboration and the sharing, effective use, and leveraging of work products and on continuously optimising the patent system for the benefit of offices, stakeholders and society at large.


The Trilateral Co-operation was established in 1983 between the EPO, the JPO and the USPTO. Since then, the Trilateral Offices have jointly worked for more efficient and higher quality patent procedures, which have benefitted offices and users alike.

Following the launch of the IP5 Co-operation in 2007, which included the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) and the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the majority of the Trilateral technical projects were migrated into the IP5 environment in 2013.

After 13 years of IP5 co-operation in parallel with Trilateral co-operation, the Trilateral Heads of Office and Trilateral Industry associations at their meeting in November 2020 reflected upon the role and direction of Trilateral Co-operation in today’s IP context and, based on input received from industry, the Trilateral Offices jointly developed a new vision.

The next Trilateral Conference will be hosted by the JPO in autumn 2021.