Intellectual Property Owners Association

Serving the Global Intellectual Property Community


2001 Board Resolutions

Passed April 18, 2001

[Fee Withholding as a Taking under the 5th Amendment] – RESOLVED, IPO agrees that based on legal precedent, that the act of Congress of diverting fees from the other PTO funds raises a serious and substantial question of taking under the fifth amendment, and that the full IPO Board ratifies as of this date the IPO testimony before Congress last year that was approved by the Executive Committee and which questioned the constitutionality of diverting fees on direct tax grounds.

[Patent Harmonization] – RESOLVED, IPO supports international patent law harmonization efforts where the long-term goals are:

(1)        to achieve dramatic improvements in quality of patent examination and sustained reductions in the costs of acquiring multinational patent protection for inventors and industry by (a) fully harmonizing substantive laws regarding patents and patent applications, (b) adopting common procedural practices and requirements regarding patent applications; (c) eliminating unnecessary translation requirements; and (d) reducing or eliminating patent office fees whenever they are in excess of the costs of operating the office;

(2)        to eliminate work by national patent offices that, with respect to harmonized substantive laws regarding patentability, represents redundant searching and examining of the same application;

(3)        to reduce the overall times of pendency of multinational patent applications, which times are now increasing alarmingly in the major patent offices of the world, including the United States PTO;

(4)        to develop cooperative practices and tools relating to standards for examination and examination procedures to assure uniformity in the scope of the patents granted by patent offices implementing harmonized laws on substantive patentability.

(5)        to provide consistency and certainty in patent enforcement, including in principles of claim interpretation, and to assure prompt resolution of patent controversies by enforcement authorities.

[Patent Harmonization] – RESOLVED, In support of international patent law harmonization efforts, IPO specifically supports:

(1)        the expansion of cooperative relationships among the major patent offices, including the establishment of joint projects of search and examination by major offices, and, to the extent permitted by harmonization of the laws of substantive patentability, the establishment of systems of full-faith and credit of one office’s searches and examinations by the other cooperating offices;

(2)        accelerated establishment of comprehensive and universally accepted databases of information that qualifies as prior art and access to and use of such databases by the public and all examining patent offices;

(3)      the substantive harmonization of the patent laws of the major patent systems, including specifically, the efforts of the Standing Committee on Patents of WIPO; and

(4)      the further harmonization and unification of regional patent systems, to the extent such efforts are consistent with the efforts of objectives (1) through (3), such as those of the European Commission to establish a single patent that would have effect throughout the European Union.



Passed June 5, 2001

[Overruling In re Portola Packaging] – RESOLVED, IPO favors overruling In re Portola Packagingand recognizing that prior art of record could be the basis for a substantial new questions of patentability.

[No inclusion of IP rights in WTO trade negotiations while Trips Implementation is ongoing] – RESOLVED, IPO reaffirms its support for strong intellectual property rights, and IPO does not favor including IP rights in any new round of WTO trade negotiations while implementation of the Trips Agreement is underway.

[Support of continued availability of EPO search and exam] – RESOLVED, IPO Supports, in principle continued availability of EPO searching and examining of US-origin PCT applications.