The purpose of the 15th of the IP5, was to consider “the contribution of IP systems toward helping to solve global challenges, focusing on Goals 7, 9, and 17 of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” In fact, on June 9 2022 the JPO led SDG IP collaboration among global powers.
This issue is very timely and interesting on several fronts. In fact, the issue tackled by the IP5, that of climate change, SDGs, the technologies of green innovation, and of harmonization of the laws have also been discussed at WIPO meetings.
IP5 is on the same thinking track as WIPO: the latter, however, has not been able to play the role well on these issues, especially on patent law harmonization, due to the conflict of interest between developed and developing countries, so IP5 has taken on the role instead.
We have to watch the IP5’s progress. Also, as readers will appreciate from the material published by the IP5, we can confirm that the JPO has had a strong will to address the issue of patent law harmonization.
These five countries, together known as the IP5, accounted for around 85% of the approximately 3.28 million patent applications filed worldwide in 2020. It’s safe to say that this % is representative of most years.
In the meeting, the IP5 noted that:
- “IP systems play an important role in the development of technologies to alleviate climate change by providing incentives to inventors, as well as supporting research and development”, and
- “the patent system provides access to a wealth of technology-related information, which helps in policymaking and investment by permitting the identification of trends in green innovation while reflecting upon the state of energy transitions.”
Regarding the JPO’s role and contribution, to be sure it has been significant, as the following examples show.
- Since the IP5 started working together in 2012, “the Global Dossier proposed by the JPO has enabled examiners and applicants to search for information on the progress of patent prosecution free of charge, and from a single site. The Patent Prosecution Highway, which was once a bilateral initiative, has also been realized as a comprehensive initiative of the IP5 Offices to enable patents to be obtained more quickly and efficiently. Further, the harmonization of laws and practices have improved the transparency and predictability of each Office’s examination practices.”
- One of several important outcomes was that “the JPO introduced the Green Transformation Technologies Inventory (GXTI), which will soon be published as a technology category table linked to patent search formulas to provide a comprehensive view of climate change countermeasure technologies, and mentioned the potential of its utilization, to which the other offices responded very positively.”
Very exciting is that the IP5 has agreed to collaborate in collecting “materials on the examination practices of the IP5 Offices on AI-related inventions.” Specifically, the official meeting Press Release notes the following,
“This project is the first to be agreed upon by the IP5 Offices to advance concrete work on the legal aspects of the roadmap for cooperation regarding new emerging technologies and AI, which was agreed upon by the IP5 Offices at the Heads of Office Meeting held in June last year. Through this project, the IP5 Offices will collect information on the legal texts and examination guidelines that the offices will apply and refer to when examining AI-related inventions, which will then be published on the IP5 website.”
The expectation is that transparency of the examination practices of the IP5 Offices will improve, as will the predictability of users when they file applications and obtain rights for AI-related inventions at each office.
So, on June 9 2022 the JPO led global SDG IP collaboration. At Kimura & Partners, we applaud these outcomes as they seem to represent a continuing trend toward harmonization of IP, and specifically Patent, creation and usage globally.