Historical Timeline


Year Trilateral Event World Event
1983 - First Trilateral Conference held in Washington. (Oct. 19). - Using innovative "winged keel" Australian breaks United States's 110-year-old hold on America's Cup (GB2114515) (Sep. 26).
1984 - Trilateral Offices extend cooperation to include consultations covering operations of the Offices at the patent grant level (Oct).  
1985 - BACON (BACkfile CONversion) project commences.
- After three years of preparatory work, the Trilateral Offices adopt comprehensive character code and image code standards (Oct.)
- First Trilateral Statistical Report(1984) is issued
- Biogen files suit against Boehringer Ingelheim in the first case involving a patent for recombinant-DNA technology (patent) (Jul.)
- Polaroid wins $873 million judgement against Kodak for infringement on instant photo patents (Oct. 11)
1986 - JPO provides full text in English of Japanese patent abstracts to EPO and USPTO.
- EPO signs a contract for the transfer of 65 million pages of patent documents to electronic media as part of BACON project (date).
1987 - Trilateral partners initiate studies on "Unity of Invention" and "Administrative and Procedurial matters" (Jan.).
- Trilateral project on Chemical Data Standardisation successfully concluded (Jan.).
1988 - Trilateral Offices agree on a biochemical sequences format paving the way for the creation of the Trilateral DNA Sequence Database (Jan.)  
1989 - Extraordinary Trilateral Conference held in Tokyo for inauguration of new Japanese Patent Office building (Jun.)
- Trilateral partners agree that exchanged information should be available in libraries of all three participating organisations (Oct.)
- JPO implements a fully automated system to administer electronic applications
- United Kingdom Court of Appeal rejects Merrill Lynch's claim for a patent on TSS, an automated trading system (US Patent?) (Apr. 25).
1990 - Agreement reached on standardised Trilateral first page format. First Page project launched. Agreement reached on Joint DNA Sequence Database (Oct.).
- First Trilateral Users' Meetings (Oct.).
- JPO accepts the world's first electonic patent applications.
- JPO implements a fully automated system to administer electronic applications.
- Total of 657, 422 first patent filings recorded worldwide.
Jury decides three US patents convering tissue-plasminogen activator (TPA) issued to Genetech had been infringed by Wellcome (Apr. 3).
1991 - Trilateral Partners reach agreement on standard mixed-mode software for use with compact discs.
- EPO capture of BACON facsimile pages reaches the rate of 500,000 pages per week.
1992 - Jouve systèmes d' information awarded a contract to supply a common software package for mixed-mode CD-ROM to the Trilateral Offices.
- USPTO, EPO and WIPO proceed with EASY, an application for filing American, European and international patents in electronic form (Feb.).
1993 - USPTO and JPO linked to EPOQUE for test purposes
- Agreement reached to expand the First Page project
- 10th Trilateral Conference and Anniversay Symposium held in Munich (Oct. 26)
1994 - All AIDS-related patents registered in the three Trilateral Offices available in a free and common database (date)
-Trilateral Offices commission a comparative study of how three offices handle computer-related inventions
- 130 million pages available on optical disks as part of BACON Project (Dec.)
WTO's Agreement on Trade-Related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) concluded (Apr. 15)
The World Trade Organization (WTO) was inaugurated the following year.
1995 - Extended tests of EASY launched. EPO registered 150 patent applications using the prototype software
- Trilateral Offices agree to make MIMOSA software package for CD-ROMS publicly available at marginal cost (Nov.)
- 712,380 first patent filings recorded
- Japan celebrates 100th Anniversary of the Industrial Property Rights System
1996 - Trilateral decides to release First Page database on CD-ROM for public access (Nov.)
- Over 50,000 DNA segments registered in the Trilateral Patent Sequence Database
1997 - 15th Trilateral Conference creates the “Kyoto Action Plan” to reduce patenting costs and acceleration the grant procedure (date)
- EASY project completed
1998 - Trilateral Statistics estimate that 4 million patents in force worldwide. JPO, USPTO, and the contracting States of the EPC constitute 83% of the total patents worldwide.
- Installation and testing of the TRINET trilateral network commences (date)
- USPTO issues first US patent to Incyte Pharmaceuticals Inc. for expressed sequence tags (ESTs) (US5,817,479) (Nov. 98).
The US CAFC Decision to Deny the Business Method Exception(STATE STREET BANK & TRUST CO. v. SIGNATURE FINANCIAL GROUP, INC.)
1999 - The 17th Trilateral Conference establishes a common standard for electronic filing of patent applications. A pilot service, based on epoline(r), is established (Nov.)
- EPO records one millionth European patent, an apparatus for manufacturing green bricks. (Nov. 8) (EPb1000 000 A1)
- JPO and EPO start to exchange priority documents electronically.
Amazon.com sues Barnes&Noble.com for infringement of "one-click" patent (US patent 5,960,411) (Oct.).
2000 - Trilateral offices decide to make the TriNET data transmission network accessible to other Patent Offices. (Nov)
- EPO receives an application of 50,000 pages relating to DNA sequence listings (date)
- EPO receives first on-line filing of an European patent application (Dec. 8)
- Total of 826,572 first patent filings recorded
2001 - Trilateral partners agree that TriNet can be extended to the Canadian Intellectual Property Organisation and the Korean Intellectual Property Organisation
- a significant event occurs at ”The Trilateral Meeting for Workload Reduction of Offices and Associated Costs” in Tokyo, which is that the Trilateral Offices decide to make efforts to develop possible measures for reducing the workload.
2002 - 20th Trilateral Conference and anniversary s ymposium held in Vienna (7-8 November).
- EPO decides to maintain 'Edinburgh' patent in an amended form that no longer includes human or animal embyonic stem cells (EP 695351) (24 July 2002)
2003 - Trilateral offices decide to connect TRINet, WIPONET and PatNET, based on secure Intrent technology. (Nov)
- TOs start cooperating on the Machine Translation system developed by the JPO
2004 - Trilateral offices decide to connect TRINet to IP Australia
- EPO starts cooperating with WIPO for the creation od a Worldwide Patent Statistical Database
2005 - Bilateral agreement on the Priority document exchange signed by the EPO and the USPTO (Nov)
- Trilateral Website revamped (www.trilateral.net)
2006 - implementation of file wrapper access service (through TDA)
- implementation of the USPTO-JPO PPH pilot
2007 - implementation of electronic priority document exchange
- agreement on a common application format