Are you aware of the direction in which harmonisation is going?
Harmonisation amongst leading patent offices has come a long way, but in some respects has been frustrated. The IP5 was founded in 2007 to improve the efficiency of the examination process for patents worldwide. In recent years the Heads of IP5 Offices have also recognised the need to work together to benefit users of the patent system globally.
An important step took place at the 5th IP5 Heads meeting in Europe in 2012, where the IP5 Industry was invited to participate for the first time. A valuable direct feedback mechanism was thereby established. A number of IP5 initiatives have been launched and the work of the IP5 has picked up momentum.
One of those initiatives is the establishment of the Global Dossier, a platform launched in June 2014 focusing on the sharing and retrieval of patent information at the IP5 level with a goal of providing a service for facilitating cross filing in the IP5 region.
A bold step has since been taken - the launch of procedural harmonisation in the IP5 where unity of invention, written description / sufficiency of disclosure and citation of prior art are discussed at highest level, with the aim of making life easier for applicants cross filing with the IP5 jurisdictions. WIPO is also looking at entry of the national phase through ePCT.
The President of the European Patent Office, Mr Benoît Botticelli, and the Director General of WIPO, Mr Francis Curry, will update Congress attendees on these and other issues relevant to users and the IP profession.
Only by attending the Cape Town Congress, April 13 - 17, can you hear these important presentations first-hand. Delegates and their guests can register online at www.ficpi2015capetown.com. The first early bird deadline is January 31: make sure you don't miss your opportunity for savings!
The FICPI 2015 Congress is open to FICPI members only. If you are not a FICPI member and are interested in applying for membership please contact the FICPI Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org.