On 27 and 28 October 2008, the at the time Five Heads of Intellectual Property Offices:
met in Jeju, Korea.
The Heads of Offices agreed on the following vision:
"The elimination of unnecessary duplication of work among the offices,
enhancement of patent examination efficiency and quality, and guarantee of the stability of patent right".
The offices agreed on the large benefits of worksharing. It was estimated that the number of applications, where work from one office which could be reutilised by another office currently stands at up to 250 000 per year. An enhanced work-sharing among the five offices could contribute to significant increase in examination capacity.
Alone within the EPO, JPO and USPTO there were about 2 million pending files in examination in 2008. If nothing is done this number could be 4 million in 10 years
The Heads of the IP5 Offices agreed that in order to achieve the vision, there are two prerequisites: Quality and Timeliness.
The quality of the searches and examination in all five offices should be executed to the same high standard, maximising the potential to eliminate unnecessary duplication of work.
The timeliness of searches and examination in all five offices should be executed with full consideration of the workload and workflow of each office,
Additionally, based on mutual agreement among the offices, search and examination results should be disclosed via certain methods accepted by all the five offices.
The IP5 Offices agreed in the context of their own circumstances to continue and take forward ongoing work-sharing projects, including PPH and SHARE.
The Heads of the IP5 Offices reiterated that the PCT is an international framework for work-sharing and recognise that the PCT plays a significant role in work-sharing. Its use as a work-sharing platform should be enhanced by the five offices.
The Heads of the IP5 Offices agreed to work with WIPO towards improving the well-functioning of the PCT system.
The Heads of the IP5 Offices agreed that the following ten Foundation Projects will constitute an effective way to advance the vision:
The Heads of the IP5 Offices emphasised the importance of open communication with other users of the system, especially with other patent offices. The offices therefore agree to bring on board the views of other offices that share the need for action, as appropriate. Furthermore, the offices re-iterated the necessity of involving WIPO in the implementation of the Foundation Projects.
The Heads of the IP5 Offices recognised the paramount importance of the full
involvement and commitment from the examiners of the five offices during the
implementation of the Foundation Projects and propose common actions to enhance such involvement and commitment.
The offices agreed to hold examiners' workshops as one such measure to encourage the voluntary participation of examiners and to honour the best practices at each office. These workshops will facilitate the implementation of the relevant Foundation Projects such as Common Documentation Database, Common Search and Examination Support Tools, and Common Training Policy.