The so-called IP5 refers to the five largest patent offices in the world, including United States Patent and Trademark Office(USPTO), European Patent Office (EPO), State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) from China, Japan Patent Office (JPO), and Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO).
USPTO, SIPO, JPO, and KIPO issues patents on behalf of governments from USA, China, Japan, and Korea, respectively. These patents are automatically enforced in these countries once granted for the terms of the patents. However, EPO issues a special kind of EP patents that are not automatically enforced by its member states. EP patents are enforced by the member nations individually. This creates numerous problems since lawsuits regarding validity or infringement often have to be conducted in all member states to be effective.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is intellectual property agency belonging to U.S. government. It issues patents and trademarks. USPTO has more than 12,000 employees in its headquarters located in Alexandria, Virginia. It also has offices in Dallas, Texas, Denver, Colorado, Detroit, Michigan, and San Jose, California.
The European Patent Office (EPO) is part of the European Patent Organisation, which was set up based on European Patent Convention in 1973. It currently has 38 member states. The headquarter of the EPO is in Munich, Germany. It also has branches in Hague, Berlin, and Vienna.
EPO has about 7000 employees, who work on patent documents using three official languages, English, French, and German.
The Japan Patent Office (JPO) is the national intellectual property office in Japan. It locates in Tokyo.
The State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO) is the official intellectual property agency of China. SIPO’s headquarter is in Beijing. There are numerous local receiving offices in China for receiving patent and design applications.
There are also five patent examination cooperation centers outside Beijing. These centers hire patent contract-based examiners to examiner thousands of patent applications each year.
The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) is the national intellectual property office of South Korea. Its main office locates in Daejeon. KIPO also has a branch office in Seoul.
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