by Dennis Crouch
From the perspective of the leading patenting countries, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has become a non-productive and fairly toxic environment with regard to international cooperation and substantive harmonization. Although the US continues to fully participate in WIPO, most progress and cooperation has come through bilateral and multilateral agreements between trading partners and regional patent offices.
The leading new organization is the IP5 that is a cooperative group including the USPTO, European Patent Office (EPO), Japanese Patent Office (JPO), Korean Intellectual Property Organization (KIPO), and the Chinese Patent Office (SIPO). The organization formerly operated as the tri-lateral cooperative, but in recent years added KIPO and SIPO to the ranks. (The EPO includes 37 European Nations.)
Over 90% of all utility patents originate from inventors residing within the jurisdiction of one of the five offices. The chart below shows how the trend has changed over the past few years.