The United Patent and Trademark Office and the Korean Intellectual Property Office Highlight Progress in Bilateral Cooperation
- Pilot program study validates work sharing benefits -

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) today highlighted the progress made on the Strategic Handling of Applications for Rapid Examination pilot program intended to maximize the reuse of work performed by the other offices by reducing duplication of examination work among the offices. A study of the pilot program, which ran from September 2009 to December 31, 2010, was developed to ascertain examiner views of the usefulness of the other office¡¯s work products.

¡°We are thankful to the Korean Intellectual Property Office for the excellent cooperation that went into producing this very important study,¡± said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, David Kappos. ¡°This study validates that work sharing benefits are real and useful and the results will lead us toward expanding future work sharing programs.¡±

¡°The pilot program was the first project that evaluated work sharing efficiency in a quantitative manner and it confirmed its effectiveness,¡± added KIPO Commissioner Soowon Lee. ¡°All the lessons and experiences from the pilot program will provide a firm grounding for further work sharing cooperation with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.¡±

The pilot program is based on a concept of when corresponding applications are filed in two offices, the Office of First filing (OFF) will conduct a search and examination and share its findings with the Office of Second Filing (OSF) so that the OSF can maximize re use of the work performed by the OFF.

The study found that each office viewed the Office of First Filing search and examination results to be useful. In both offices, searches conducted by the Office of First Filing supplemented the searches performed by the second office. The Offices agree that regardless of the procedure used in the Offices, the prior art found by the offices seemed to be mutually agreeable or often times overlapped.

The offices concluded that this pilot brought forth valuable lessons about work sharing between offices. The USPTO and KIPO will use this information to develop the next phase of the pilot. The findings from this pilot will also reach beyond the KIPO-USPTO partnership as the Offices expand work sharing programs with other IP Offices.

A full report summarizing the findings of the study was prepared by USPTO and KIPO and can be found at the USPTO website or the attached document.

<Obtained from the website of KIPO (http://www.kipo.go.kr/kpo/eng); posted on March 1, 2012>