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US, South Korea Highlight Patent Cooperation Progress

by Glen Shapiro,, New York

05 March 2012

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) have highlighted the progress made on their pilot programme intended to maximize the reuse of work performed by each office, thereby reducing the duplication of examination work.

A study of the pilot programme, which ran from September 2009 to December 2010, was developed to ascertain examiner views of the usefulness of the other office’s work products.

“We are thankful to the KIPO for the excellent cooperation that went into producing this very important study,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, David Kappos. “It validates that work-sharing benefits are real and useful, and the results will lead us toward expanding work sharing programmes in the future.”

“The pilot programme was the first project that evaluated work-sharing efficiency in a quantitative manner, and it confirmed its effectiveness,” added KIPO Commissioner, Soowon Lee. “All the lessons and experiences from the pilot programme will provide a firm grounding for further work sharing cooperation with the USPTO.”

The pilot programme is based on a concept of when corresponding applications are filed in two offices, the Office of First Filing (OFF) will conduct a search and examination and share its findings with the Office of Second Filing (OSF), so that the OSF can maximize re-use of the work performed by the OFF.

The study found that each office viewed the OFF search and examination results to be useful. In both offices, searches conducted by the OFF supplemented the searches performed by the OSF. The offices agreed that regardless of the procedure used, the prior art found by the offices seemed to be mutually agreeable, or often times overlapped.

The offices concluded that this pilot brought forth valuable lessons about work sharing between offices. The USPTO and KIPO will use this information to develop the next phase of the pilot. The findings will also reach beyond the KIPO-USPTO partnership, as the two offices expand work sharing programs with other IP offices.

TAGS: business | patents | law | intellectual property | entrepreneurs | agreements | patent search | Korea, South | United States

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