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The heads of the world's five major intellectual property offices agreed to intensify cooperation in IP and the response to COVID-19 at their 13th annual meeting held on Tuesday.
Officials from the China National Intellectual Property Administration, the European Patent Office, the Japan Patent Office, the Korean Intellectual Property Office and the United States Patent and Trademark Office — collectively known as the IP5 — met via video link to discuss the response to the pandemic, review recent progress and decide further action.
The five leaders expressed concern over the COVID-19 pandemic. They took stock of the measures taken by each office to mitigate the effects of the outbreak on applicants and promote innovation that will be instrumental in winning the battle against the virus.
These measures include providing assistance and relief to those affected by the outbreak and opening access to patent information, which presents a wealth of technological knowledge related to the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
"A common challenge faced by the five offices during the pandemic is maintaining efficient and stable operations," said Shen Changyu, commissioner of the CNIPA.
"As the world's five largest IP offices, the IP5 should continue to strengthen cooperation in IP protection and work together to tackle the challenges posed by COVID-19," Shen said.
Antonio Campinos, president of the European Patent Office, said the videoconference had historical significance. He expects the five offices to step up digitalization and allow closer cooperation by adopting new technologies.
The Commissioner of the Japan Patent Office, Toshihide Kasutani, said by holding the virtual meeting amid the pandemic, the five offices demonstrated their commitment to promoting cooperation and innovation.
In a joint statement released on Tuesday, the five offices said IP plays a key role in boosting economic recovery and creating employment, especially in a crisis.
They said they will continue to work with the World Intellectual Property Organization and support its activities to uphold and strengthen balanced IP systems.
The heads of office reaffirmed the importance of stakeholder engagement in IP5 cooperation and welcomed industry input in current and future IP5 initiatives.
"The five offices have maintained close communication with IP5 industry associations to keep them informed about both the offices' measures in response to COVID-19 and progress on IP5 projects," the statement said.
The five offices reiterated their commitment to provide better services to users and the public, so as to enhance the role of IP in stimulating innovation and driving socioeconomic development.
To this end, the five offices will continue to develop initiatives and share best practices to spur innovation and support inventors and the international IP community who are contributing to economic and social recovery, the statement said.
They will also introduce initiatives to advance cooperation in emerging technologies, enhance the harmonization of practices and procedures, strengthen work-sharing efforts and increase access to patent information.
The five offices began cooperating in 2007 to improve the efficiency and quality of patent examination. The IP5 together handled around 85 percent of the world's patent applications in 2019, according to the CNIPA.
Source: China Daily