In recent years, the IP5 Heads of Office recognised the need not only to develop IP5 initiatives which led to efficiency gains for patent offices but also to work together to benefit users of the patenting system globally.
As a result of this at the 5th IP5 Heads Meeting in June 2012 the IP5 Heads created the Global Dossier Task Force which comprised not only delegations from the IP5 Offices but also WIPO and delegations representing industry from the IP5 regions in order to obtain input on user needs and develop the Global Dossier concept, which had been proposed by the JPO and the USPTO.
In January 2013, the first IP5 Global Dossier Task Force meeting was held at the EPO at which IP5 Industry defined their vision for retrieval of patent information and for patent prosecution at the IP5 level. Since this meeting the IP5 have been working to move forward on providing tools which allow applicants to retrieve information about patents at an IP5 level (for example dossier content of an entire family of applications from a single source) and to develop approaches to allow simplified subsequent filing of applications at other IP5 Offices.
In 2014, the first Global Dossier public service for file wrapper viewing was delivered by the EPO with the support of SIPO. By the end of 2015, all IP5 Offices were providing file wrapper data in a standardised format allowing the viewing of all IP5 file wrapper documents from any one IP5 Office.
Also in 2015, IP5 Industry presented a list of goals at the second Global Dossier Task Force meeting hosted by SIPO, which they asked the IP5 Offices to include in their future deliberations of the Global Dossier.
At their meeting in May 2015, the IP5 Heads, taking up the challenge of the Global Dossier Task Force, endorsed a vision statement including five priority areas. These were further developed and during the IP5 Heads meeting hosted by the JPO in Tokyo in June 2016, agreements were reached to set the scope of the five priorities. These include:
The focus of the IP5 Working Group 2 is now the Global Dossier however in parallel significant advances have been made in the area of patent information. In particular in 2013 the IP5 Heads signed the Patent Information Policy which, in time, should lead to a system in which the barriers to obtaining IP5 patent information are significantly lowered. This is a goal to which all IP5 Offices are committed. The IP5 continues to work towards the vision of global patent information being a general good which benefits the public and users of the system alike.