A coalition of the world's five largest patent offices announced that the coalition will release a statistical report to help the public understand the operations and patent procedures among the offices. The five patent offices, known as the IP5, are the patent offices for the U.S., Europe, Japan, Korea and China. The IP5's press release can be found at http://www.uspto.gov/news/pr/2012/12-69.jsp.
The continued work of the IP5 coalition reflects the trend of countries working together on intellectual property issues. Last month, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced three “Patent Prosecution Highways” with the Czech Republic, Philippines and Portuguese patent offices that are designed to expedite the processing of patent claims for applications filed in multiple participating countries. The U.S.P.T.O's press release is at http://www.uspto.gov/news/pr/2012/12-63.jsp.