Trilateral Offices Sign Up to Work-sharing Initiatives

 Jon W. Dudas, USPTO, Masahiro Koezuka, JPO and Alison Brimelow, EPO The heads of the European Patent Office (EPO), the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Japan Patent Office (JPO) met in Alexandria, Virginia and Washington DC last week to develop and coordinate solutions for reutilising the work done in the three Offices.

Following a proposal from the users (industry and patent attorneys) in 2005, the Trilateral Offices have agreed on a single format for filing patent applications that will be directly accepted by all three Trilateral Offices. The potential savings for the users will be around $100 million per year.

The 25th anniversary of co-operation between the Trilateral Offices also provided a unique opportunity for a dialogue among companies, organisations, practitioners, and patent offices on the past successes and future challenges of the Trilateral experience.

At the meeting, the heads of the three offices - EPO President Alison Brimelow, USPTO Undersecretary Jon W. Dudas and JPO Commissioner Masahiro Koezuka - signed a Memorandum of Understanding, outlining the Trilateral's achievements in 2007.