|First they shared the search results, then the examination reports --|
then they decided it was time to share the cakes and pies ...
"The IP offices of Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom and [WIPO] have today launched a pilot system to make it easier to access results of search and examination from other offices. The Centralized Access to Search and Examination system (CASE) provides a digital library of search and exam reports which can be shared by participating IP offices.
The launch of the CASE is a significant advancement towards greater cooperation between IP offices in sharing the results of examination work. This will help reduce the time spent on processing duplicate applications filed in multiple offices. The duplication of work is a contributing factors to the growing patent backlog that is estimated to cost the global economy £7.6 billion for every year of extra delay caused by backlogs.
CASE is the latest addition to the Vancouver Group Mutual
AdmirationExploitation initiative which is aimed at eliminating unnecessary rework and duplication in prosecuting patent applications.
The Vancouver Group (UK, Australian and Canadian) Intellectual Property offices will be the first to use the CASE system but other offices may join if the pilot is successful.
UK Minister for Intellectual Property, Baroness Wilcox said [er, pretty well nothing]While the IPKat welcomes this, along with every other initiative that makes the patent examination and grant procedures run more smoothly, he is rather downcast at the fact that even this small, pilot study has not happened till now. Is it a trick of an old Kat's imagination, or is he right to say that the suggestion that patent-examining and granting authorities share each other's examination results has been made regularly since the 1980s and certainly since before the dawn of the internet age? He offers as a prize a copy of Alain Pottage and Brad Sherman's excellent Figures of Invention: a history of modern patent law (OUP, 2010) to the person who can supply him with the earliest published reference to the examination-sharing proposal. Submissions by close of play on Sunday 27 March, please, to the IPKat here, with the subject line "Vancouver".
WIPO Director General, Francis Gurry, said [hm, more or less the same] ..."
Merpel, who is offering no prizes, wonders whether, assuming decent weather, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom can between them claim to be the Empire on which the sun never sets ...
Some words that rhyme with Vancouver here, here and here