For the past few years, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has been working with patent offices in China, Europe, Japan, and Korea to create a single portal to provide visibility into the status of patent applications filed in different jurisdictions claiming common priorities. A goal of this program has been to allow users, such as inventors and patent attorneys, to have concurrent real-time access to the status and file history of such applications around the world.
In November 2015, the USPTO launched “Dossier Access.” It describes as “a user-friendly online interface, which will make it easier for patent applicants to quickly and easily view, monitor, and manage intellectual property (IP) protection around the world by providing access to the dossiers of related applications filed at participating offices.” The portal allows users to see concurrent status and applicable correspondence in these patent offices for applications claiming common priority, and further permits transfer of documents between patent offices more readily than in the past.
Advantages of Dossier Access, per the USPTO, include:
- Provides a single, secure point of access for the management of dossier and examination information
- Increases efficiency and predictability of global patent family prosecution
- Reduces applicant burden, providing time and cost savings
- Enables and encourages streamlining of office procedures among different IP offices
- Improves worldwide patent quality, resulting in higher value patents
Until this recent launch, users had to examine status on a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction basis, often needing to rely on intermediaries to forward results. This portal launch allows for potentially quicker access to correspondence from patent offices. As the Global Dossier Access expands, direct integration with docketing systems and streamlining procedures between patent offices seems to be quite possible.