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WIPO's Pooley positive on collaborative search

Collaboration between patent offices on patent searching is “exciting” and could lead to “a much better product”, WIPO Deputy Director General James Pooley said at Managing IP’s International Patent Forum in London

Opening the Forum this morning, Pooley said: “This is where I think we all understand the highest quality search can come.”

But he added that there are important questions about how to achieve collaborative search at a reasonable price, as well as how to implement software platforms.

Pooley, whose term as deputy director general for innovation and technology finishes at the end of this year, told attendees about the progress WIPO has made with ePCT, adding that it may have a role to play in collaborative search: “There are discussions on how ePCT hooks up with national phase entry.”

He said ePCT was “one of the most exciting initiatives I’ve had the privilege to work on since coming to WIPO” and had the potential to remove inefficiencies from the patent system.

Some 205,300 international PCT applications were filed in 2013, up 5.1% on 2012. The US had the most applications in 2013. Its figure of 57,239 applications was up 10.8% on 2012. Japan was second with 43,918, while China jumped to third place with 21,516, placing it ahead of Germany's 17,927.

Pooley said the tool needed to be seamless, easy and help to reduce mistakes: “Our vision is broad: we want everything we do to be based on electronic communication and the web.” Priorities are security, dependability and ease of use, he added.

Thirty-seven offices have now taken on the system and are at various levels of maturity. A demonstration version offering e-filing is being considered by 15 offices.

In the past five days alone, said Pooley, there were 76 e-filing applications using PCTsafe and 72 through ePCT.

WIPO’s aims for this year include engaging more offices and adding up to nine more languages, he said. Electronic payment using credit cards is also being looked at.

Other topics covered during the first morning of the Forum were: patent monetisation, software patenting in Europe and the US, licensing standard essential patents and Russia’s IP Court.

The Forum concludes tomorrow. Look out for more reports on

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