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Patent data to become more accessible

Applicants to be allowed to freely explore documents, data by year-end

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Published : 2014-06-08 21:14
Updated : 2014-06-08 21:14

Patent applicants will soon be able to conveniently access and view patent documents and various related information ― including file wrapper information ― after representatives from the world’s five most advanced intellectual property offices including the Korean Intellectual Property Office concluded their three-day annual meeting in Busan last week.

Also known as the IP5, the representatives form a council consisting of the IPOs of the United States, Japan, China, Europe and Korea, and they are currently responsible for handling over roughly 90 percent of the world’s existing patents.
(From left) World Intellectual Property Organization Assistant Director General Yoshiyuki Takagi; U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Deputy Director Michelle Lee; Korean Intellectual Property Office Commissioner Kim Young-min; Japan Patent Office Commissioner Hideo Hato; European Patent Office President Benoît Battistelli; and China’s State Intellectual Property Office Commissioner Changyu Shen pose after the meeting of the heads of the world’s five largest intellectual property offices held at the Nurimaru APEC House in Busan on June 6. (KIPO)

The IP5 heads convened in Busan to discuss when and how to more efficiently disseminate patent information to applicants worldwide.

“This year’s meeting focused more than ever on strengthening communication with the users of patent services and how we might share various patent information with users all over the world,” said KIPO Commissioner Kim Young-min, who served as the chairperson for the convention.

Reflecting his comments, one of this forum’s chief covenants was an agreement on the specified time frame for implementing public access to file wrapper information, the KIPO said.
(from top left, clockwise) KIPO Commissioner Kim Young-min
The IP5 heads and related officials discuss the agenda of the convention held at the Nurimaru APEC House in Busan on June 6.
Deputy commissioners from intellectual property offices, including Korea’s Lee Jun-seok (fourth from left), pose after their meeting.
SIPO Commissioner Changyu Shen (left)
USPTO Deputy Director Michelle Lee (right)

By 2016, users would likely be able to access the file wrapper information for all of the IP5 offices through a streamlined system called the One Portal Dossier, officials said.

The OPD is an inquiry service platform that allows users to search for a certain invention simultaneously in all of the IP5 databases for the file wrapper information of existing family patents.

Up to this point, access to the OPD service had been restricted to patent examiners so that individuals were forced to separately search each of the IPO databases in order to retrieve the file wrapper information, the KIPO explained.

The decision to implement the OPD will therefore not only improve user convenience, but also help raise the competitiveness of firms in regards to their intellectual property, according to officials.

The OPD will be completed in phases, with the first phase to begin in Europe where the platform is expected to launch this month.

In addition, as of July 1, additional patent information ― such as abstracts or publications ― from the five IPOs will also be available to the public.

The move has been given added meaning thanks to the participation of China, whose patent information had so far been largely inaccessible.

Moreover, the IP5 have also disclosed their authority files.

An authority file comprises of bibliographic data such as the publication number, publication date and the national code.

The disclosure of such files indicates that companies can now audit and review their own patent publications for errors or omissions.

In addition, the plans to revamp the IP5 website will allow users to easily read about the discussion topics and results from the IP5 meetings to keep up-to-date on the progress, the KIPO said. Providing a wider scope of services to the public is likely to help alter the global intellectual property market to become more accessible and efficient.

Companies also will be able to strengthen their competitiveness by strategizing based on the increased amount of information they now have to work with.

In a nutshell, if the previous IP5 convention held in South Korea six years ago had provided the opportunity for establishing basic fundamentals and grounding its vision, this year’s convention had aimed at using the results thus far in order to develop a new direction ― with a strong focus on the users, the KIPO said.

“The success or failure of future IP5 cooperation will be determined by its ability to communicate with users and how well it reflects user opinions,” said Kim.

“Likewise, the KIPO will also continue to work toward building intellectual property policies that place users foremost of everything else.”

By Kim Joo-hyun (jhk@heraldcorp.com)

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