17th jul, 2008

Coorporation to reduce workload

Some years ago I participated in a project with the purpose to predict some of the challenges for the IP system. One of the key challenges identified was of course the dual or tripple work in searching patent applications. A tremendous waste is going on when patent offices around the world search the same patents finding the same prior art. One of our proposed solutions was to find a way to reduce double work. This was turned down however since “That will never be possible”. However the trilateral offices began looking into this in 2005 and now it seems as a real possibility.

The EPO has issued a statement saying that a new pilot project has been launched. The program will pick 100 applications which have been filed with the USPTO as RO and both JPO and EPO as offices of second filings. The three applications must sufficiently correspond. The application will contain search results of all three offices.

But how can it be that something which was impossible in 2001 is now possible? In the words of a speaker I once heard discussing new solutions in the defence area “We come up with new solutions to their problems and are turned down. Then we sit down and watch things get more and more desperate and then submit our proposal again. Usually they think its a good idea then” Its all about how much the platform is burning. 

But basically its a brilliant idea and someone should take a complete look on he patent application procedures to see if there are things which could be done better. Worksharing and informal networks (P2P-projects) are just the beginning.

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