November 10, 2008

The 26th Trilateral Conference will take place in The Hague this week, where representatives of the U.S., European, and Japanese patent offices will meet to further formalize their efforts regarding patent prosecution cooperation. According to the European Patent Office ("EPO") press release (link below), "one of the main aims of the cooperation is to help inventors protect their inventions in several parts of the world, while reducing processing times through integrated patent infrastructure," with key meeting objectives including increased work sharing for PCT patent applications, the potential launch of a Patent Prosecution Highway between the EPO and the Japanese Patent Office, efforts to prioritize work on first filings, and the harmonization and sharing of "e-learning tools" among these three patent offices. Additional information on this conference, including details on the current IP5 initiative (involving the five largest national patent offices), patent quality improvements, several "Foundation Projects," and the involvement of industry, are provided in the link below.

EPO Press Release: 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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