September 18, 2008

As recently jointly announced by IP Australia and the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), Australia will become the 9th national patent office to allow its applicants to select the KIPO as the International Search Authority (ISA) for PCT patent applications. According to the IP Australia press release (link below), “The decision to designate KIPO as an ISA/IPEA demonstrates IP Australia’s commitment to work collaboratively with other countries to streamline the IP system for the benefit of applicants.” The KIPO has allowed its applicants to choose Australia as their ISA for a number of years, and now (anticipated early 2009), Australian applicants will be able to choose the KIPO. This new agreement, according to the IP Australia press release, comes after the successful completion of the “Joint Prior Art Search Program” between the two offices “to exchange and compare the searching methods and tools used by each office,” including an exchange of examiners from one office to the other. According to the counterpart KIPO press release (link below), the KIPO has seen an increase of 11 search requests in 2004 to 735 in 2006 to approximately 8,000 through June of this year. The other countries allowing the selection of the KIPO as an ISA include the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Mongolia, Singapore, New Zealand, the United States, and Malaysia. Additional information regarding this new option is provided in the links below.

IP Australia Announcement: LINK
IP Australia Website: LINK
KIPO Announcement: LINK
KIPO Website: LINK

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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