IP5: What It Is and What It Can Do for You

November 21st, 2019 ‧ 3 min read

What is the IP5?

The IP5 is a forum of the world’s five largest intellectual property (IP) offices—the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA, which was formerly known as SIPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the European Patent Office (EPO), and the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO).

What is the history behind the IP5?

The IP5 was launched in 2007 with the goal of making the examination process for patents around the world more efficient. This meant increased cooperation and the exchange of ideas and viewpoints, in particular regarding common challenges, such as growing backlogs and inefficiencies in patent examination processes.
At first, it focused on getting rid of any unnecessary duplication of work among the offices while striving to make the patent examination process more efficient and patent rights even more stable.
In 2012, the group began to invite industry representatives to its annual strategy and review meetings.
In 2017, a new strategic vision of IP5 cooperation was defined as follows:

  • Patent harmonization of practices and procedures;
  • Enhanced work-sharing;
  • High-quality and timely search and examination results;
  • Seamless access to patent information to promote an efficient, cost-effective, and user-friendly international patent landscape.

What is the IP5 responsible for?

Altogether, the IP5 Offices are said to handle around 80 percent of the world’s patent applications. At the same time, they are reported to handle 95 percent of the work conducted under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).

Data courtesy of the IP5

Who can benefit from the IP5?

Inventors and companies

Both inventors and companies can benefit from the IP5 and its efforts to make it easier to obtain patents around the world. In addition, inventors and companies can benefit from its efforts to bring legal stability and certainty to patent rights across different parts of the world.

Patent Examiners

By encouraging cross-office communication and cooperation as well as the input and involvement of patent examiners from a variety of patent offices, the IP5 can assist patent examiners in working more efficiently and effectively.

The Patent Ecosystem

The global patent ecosystem itself benefits from the work of the group and its efforts to promote cooperation and the sharing of ideas between patent offices. Although not a member of the IP5, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has participated as an observer at its meetings.

What are some of the IP5’s important programs or accomplishments?

In the ten-plus years of its existence, the IP5 has managed to establish a number of important programs and services, including the following:

  • Global Dossier: A valuable online resource that delivers information about all the applications in a patent family that have been filed at participating patent offices;
  • IP5 Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH): A “fast-track” process to make it easier for applicants to obtain patents in all IP5 offices;
  • IP5 Common Application Format (CAF): A method for standardizing and creating a common style for patent descriptions, claims, abstract and drawings, reducing the need for re-drafting specifications and making it easier for examiners to understand specifications from different countries;
  • Common Citation Document (CCD): A one-page compilation of all the prior art that has been cited by IP5 offices related to the patent family members of a patent application;
  • Priority Document Exchange (PDX): A long-running program that is meant to facilitate the exchange of documents;
  • Mutual Machine Translation (MMT): An on-going program to deliver automatic translations of documents in the languages of the IP5 offices.

Closing Thoughts

Clearly, the IP5 can be considered one of the most impactful organizations in the patent ecosystem today. That’s why it is so important to be sure that any data analytics or AI-based tools that IP practitioners may employ in their patent work utilize data that covers the IP5. After all, it’s comprehensive and correct data that make real patent insights possible.


Discover Patent Search by Patentcloud, the AI-powered patent search tool covering more than 100 countries (including the IP5) and featuring standardized data, current legal status, current assignee, and estimated expiration date of patents.

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