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WIPO Report Recommends More “Cooperation” Under Patent Cooperation Treaty


  As it published the three-millionth international patent application under its Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) on 2 February, the World Intellectual Property Office suggested that there may be ways to improve the system in the future.

  In a 2 February memo, “The PCT System – Overview and Possible Future Directions and Priorities,” available here, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry said he wants to provide “food for thought on broad direction and priorities for future work aimed at further improving the system, to the common benefit of Contracting States, national Offices, applicants and third parties.”

  The paper details some of the issues the PCT system faces, including the need for national patent offices to perform their assigned roles in a timely manner, and to “accept closer public scrutiny of their work; and the need for information technology systems to be developed in a way that enables the sharing of usable information with others more effectively.

  In particular, said Gurry, the paper suggests that the primary route to achieve these aims “is to put renewed emphasis on the ‘Cooperation’ element of the Treaty, mostly requiring changes to the behaviors and actions of Offices (including the International Bureau) rather than significant changes to the legal framework.”

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