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Trilateral offices commit to cooperate

Eileen McDermott, Washington DC

Speakers at the public users conference of the 25th annual meeting of the Trilateral Patent Offices on Thursday emphasized the need for global harmonization of the patent application process

The Trilateral Co-operation – which comprises the USPTO, the JPO and the EPO – collectively examines well over half of all of the patent applications in the world and began efforts to collaborate on harmonization in 1983.

But patent offices in countries such as Korea and China are now beginning to take on a growing proportion of worldwide applications as well, and are likely to join cooperation efforts in the coming years, according to panellists at Thursday’s conference.

The day-long conference included three separate panels, the first consisting of industry representatives, the second of the trilateral office leaders and the third of IP owners and advocates. Each set of panellists gave their perspectives on the importance...

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