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 Taskforce which comprised not only delegations from the IP5 Offices but also delegations representing industry from the IP5 regions.
In January 2013 the first IP5 Global Dossier Taskforce meeting was held at the EPO at which the industry defined their vision for retrieval of patent information and for patent prosecution at the IP5 level. Since this meeting the IP5 has 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.
The IP5 hope that in 2014 the work will bear its first fruits. At present the Global Dossier is focussing on delivering tools within the current legal framework but with time as harmonisation efforts progress even more ambitious goals may be set.
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.