First PHEP work plan

In response to the impetus provided by the IP5 Industry associations in 2013 with the submission of the (provisional) list of harmonisation topics, the Patent Harmonisation Experts Panel (PHEP) conducted thorough analysis on the following items under the lead of the Offices in brackets:

  • unity of invention (EPO, CNIPA)
  • citation of prior art (KIPO, USPTO)
  • written description/sufficiency of disclosure (JPO).

The IP5 Offices produced comprehensive reports outlining their relevant practices regarding unity of invention and citation of prior art and compiled a list of terminology on written description/sufficiency of disclosure.

In July 2015, the IP5 Offices launched a consultation process on these reports.

In August 2018, the IP5 Offices published the report of the first case studies (cases 1-3, chemistry field, support requirement) on written description/sufficiency of disclosure. In October 2019, the IP5 Offices also published the report of the second case studies (cases 4-6, electric and machinery fields, clarity and support requirements) on written description/sufficiency of disclosure.

Work in these areas was conducted with a view towards:

  • aligning the IP5 practices in international applications focusing on the consistent application and better implementation of the unity of invention standard embedded in the PCT;
  • exploring IT based solutions for the submission and exchange of citation data;
  • developing the methodology to address issues under written description/sufficiency of disclosure.

The analysis of the above issues was done in close co-operation with the stakeholders of the respective IP5 regions.