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Home> Announcements> International topics> Trilateral Cooperation (JPO-EPO-USPTO)> Summary Report of the Trilateral Technical Meeting

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Summary Report of the Trilateral Technical Meeting

May 18 (Tue) - May 20 (Thu), 2004, in Arlington, U.S.

(1)Mutual exploitation of search results

1)Bilateral pilot projects

The analysis report on the bilateral pilot projects aiming at the mutual exploitation of search results was announced. It was understood that the various problems for advancing the mutual exploitation of search results should be discussed in the future, and it was agreed that "Working Group on Strategic Issues and Work Sharing" would be held this September under the auspices of the JPO.

2)Examiner exchange

USPTO hosted the first Trilateral Examiner exchange in April 2004 and trilateral offices evaluated it as being effective for promoting mutual understanding between the examiners in various technical fields. The Trilateral Offices agreed that the examiner exchange should be continued. The EPO will host an examiner exchange in October 2004, and the JPO will host an examiner exchange in April 2005. Continuation of the examiner exchange between EPO and JPO was also assured.


The JPO reported that the DNA search results obtained from the Trilateral Offices were compared with each other and found to be identical in most cases. The Trilateral Offices decided to carry out further discussions on the periodical exchanges of search results, and agreed to collaborate on the completion of trilateral search strategy file on genetic engineering (materials including data and know-how on the searches owned by examiners prepared in order to accurately carry out prior art search). Further discussions will be performed at the Biotechnology working group to be held in October under the auspices of the EPO.

(2)Dossier access system (the mutual access system to the electronic files owned by the Offices) and machine translation

1)Functions and contents of the System

The USPTO indicated that the list of references, the references and the examiner's office actions are needed to be available as functions and contents of the dossier access system of the JPO and the EPO to reduce the burden of the IDS (Information Disclosure Statement of United States). Moreover USPTO explained that it would import those documents as documents for use in examination in its own office.

2)Specification of the system interface

The JPO expressed its plan to release their Web based interface in October 2004 as scheduled. The Office also declared that it would consider the development of the dossier access system using the same SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) interface as that of the USPTO and the EPO under the next year's budget in order to reduce the burden on applicants (IDS procedure and alternatives for transmit of a priority document) and maximize the efficiency of examinations at the respective Offices, and the statement of which received welcoming support.

3)Machine Translation

The JPO gave a report on the trilateral machine translation system, which was released in March 2004. The USPTO and the EPO greatly appreciated the usefulness of the system from the viewpoint that it facilitates the examiners' utilization of Japanese documents and hence reduces their workload. The two Offices underlined their hope for further development of the system and expressed their cooperation in improving the dictionary function utilizing the feedback function of the machine translation system.

4)Exchange of priority documents

The USPTO explained its plan to exchange priority documents by using the dossier access system.

(3)Harmonization of patent system

The Trilateral Offices confirmed that they would continue debating on how to cooperate in harmonizing the patent system. The three Offices agreed that a limited package presented to the Standing Committee on Patent Law (SCP) of the WIPO would be submitted at the general assembly of the WIPO in September.


1)Comparative studies in new technologies

In order to discuss the definition of nano-technology, determination of its related scientific fields, and forward planning of trilateral research collaboration, the establishment of a working group on nano-technology was proposed by the USPTO. Preliminary discussions will be made prior to the Trilateral Conference.

2)Harmonization of Classification

It was confirmed that harmonization of classification was essential to success of IPC reform and that the trilateral projects were necessary to be promoted. The EPO asserted that further examiner exchanges would be beneficial in carrying out effective classification and harmonization.

3)Information dissemination policies

The JPO gave a presentation on the final report on the comparison between the patent information dissemination policies of the Trilateral Offices, to which the Trilateral Offices gave approval. While paying attention to the clear distinction between the roles of the civil establishments and the Patent Offices, the Trilateral Offices decided to continue to exchange information and carry out revisions of results on a necessary basis.

[Last updated 9 July 2004]