November 12, 2007

Last Friday, the USPTO announced that lead representatives of the three busiest international patent offices signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to best coordinate and improve their collective efforts. According to the USPTO press release (link below), the 25th Annual Trilateral Conference, the USPTO, the European Patent Office (EPO), and the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) signed the MOU to “coordinate work sharing; develop a means to improve quality of applications; coordinate electronic business developments; harmonize or standardize search strategies, tools and procedures; and promote dissemination of patent information.” According to Jon Dudas, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, “Over the past quarter century, trilateral cooperation has resulted in significant progress. We look forward to doing even more. Our offices intend to strengthen cooperative efforts in ways that promote innovation and focus on 21st-century realities by reducing redundancies, streamlining processes, and encouraging quality applications.” As part of the MOU (as reported in the link below), these three patent office also agreed to “undertake a comprehensive approach to technology focused cooperation in examination. This approach will include collaboration among examiners; development of comparative studies; development of search guidelines; exploration of use of common search tools to facilitate common search techniques and resources; and continual collaboration after the development of products.”

USPTO Announcement: LINK
EPO Website: LINK
JPO Website: LINK


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Mark Reichel
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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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