Minutes - TRIPS Council - View details of the intervention/statement

H.E. Ambassador Dr Lansana GBERIE
333.   Canada would like to thank the delegation of Japan for its leadership in drafting the discussion paper on cross-border cooperation among intellectual property offices (under document IP/C/W/697), and for providing us with the opportunity to speak about this important topic today. Canada would like to thank the Secretariat for circulating the discussion paper for today's topic. Canada is pleased to share its national experiences in this area and looks forward to an exchange of views from interested Members on this topic. 334.   Canada, through the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (or CIPO), recognizes the importance of cross-border cooperation among IP offices and believes that such efforts are vital to promoting innovation and the balanced protection of IP rights globally. Indeed, CIPO actively collaborates with other IP offices in various ways. For example, CIPO has delivered the Canadian Patent Law and Examination Workshop (or CPLEW), a 7-day workshop for patent examiners around the world, run by CIPO patent examiners. The CPLEW provides an opportunity to share best practices between IP offices and to engage in in-depth discussions on various patent-related topics affecting all examiners across various offices. Since visiting examiners already possess the knowledge and skills regarding patent examination, the program focuses on Canadian particularities and on delivering interactive activities, such as case studies. During the workshop, Canadian patent law and examination practices are explained and compared with those of participant offices. Guest examiners are also invited to share information on their respective patent office, at their discretion. These topics range from office organization and structure to training programs, and typical workdays or business offerings. Through the CPLEW, patent examiners are able to share best practices with respect to examination under the Patent Prosecution Highway (or PPH). 335.   The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) is another example of cross-border cooperation between intellectual property (IP) offices. The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) currently has partnerships with 25 IP offices under the global PPH pilot programme, and five IP offices under the bilateral PPH pilot programmes. The PPH programme allows participating offices to avoid duplications and improve quality thanks to work-sharing among offices. Patent applicants whose applications are considered receivable by a patent office may request an accelerated examination of the relevant applications by a participating office through a simple procedure, based on the results of the examination by the first office. The growing number of patent offices that are implementing the PPH programme underscores the advantages of cooperation among offices and the transparency within the global system of patents. From the applicants' perspective, use of the PPH reduces waiting time and may also reduce agents' fees due to the potentially lower number of actions needed to be taken by the office to process their application. Furthermore, Canadian applicants are among the most diligent users of the PPH programme. 336.   In addition, CIPO has also participated in many bilateral exchanges and interchanges over the years with other IP offices to discuss harmonization of substantive laws, provide training, identify best practices, and collaborate on initiatives to improve the timeliness and quality of granted patents. For instance, CIPO's Programs Branch had an opportunity to engage with the United Kingdom's Intellectual Property Office and the Japan Patent Office to share information and best practices as it relates to the modernization of intellectual property systems and tools. This provided an opportunity to exchange views on the priorities of other offices, as well as the approaches adopted to modernizing and increasing their e-service catalogue. 337.   We continue to encourage more cross-border cooperation on the development of common tools, products and processes that could improve patent examination. This type of cooperation could extend beyond the substantive work of examiners to include other operational areas such as IT infrastructure and data-driven decision-making. Cooperation on AI tools for IP offices is also possible. Some offices invest heavily in this area and exchanges of national experiences could be useful to other IP offices. It is also useful to share best practices on how IP offices gather and use data and what tools they use to do so to better inform their clients and allow them to take informed IP decisions. Moreover, it may be useful to discuss the approaches of IP offices in the area of quality and data standards. In closing, Canada would like to reiterate our commitment to international cooperation as we continue to improve the global IP ecosystem.
63. The Council took note of the statements made.
61. The Chair said this item had been put on the agenda at the request of the delegations of Australia; Canada; the European Union; Hong Kong, China; Japan; Singapore; Switzerland; the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu; the United Kingdom and the United States of America. These delegations had also submitted a communication on this topic, circulated in document in order to allow Members to prepare for today's discussion.
62. The representatives of Japan; the United States of America; Singapore; Switzerland; Australia; Chinese Taipei; the United Kingdom; Canada; Hong Kong, China; the European Union; Korea, Republic of; Peru; India; Bangladesh; South Africa; Canada and the World Intellectual Property Organization took the floor.
63. The Council took note of the statements made.
IP/C/M/107, IP/C/M/107/Add.1