IP5 is a forum of the five largest intellectual property offices in the world that is being set up to improve the efficiency of the examination process for patents worldwide. The members of IP5 are:
- the European Patent Office (EPO),
- the Japan Patent Office (JPO),
- the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO),
- the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO), and
- the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
They are attempting to streamline prosecution, since many of the cases filed in one these patent offices are also filed in the others. Their stated goal is ““The elimination of unnecessary duplication of work among the offices,enhancement of patent examination efficiency and quality, and guarantee of the stability of patent right”.
They have a very handy comparison (download) between the various members’ patent policies. It’s a long document, but worth reading and keeping as a reference. They also have quite a few other comparative statistics available. Their project list is also ambitious.
There is a good chance that this cooperative process will reduce patent pendency, as well as improve patent prosecution quality. I’m definitely planning on keeping an eye on them.