The Trilateral Offices have been actively developing a collaborative approach to promote international work-sharing in the past several years. And at the Meeting of Heads of the world's five largest patent offices, "Common Access to Search and Examination Results" was proposed as a foundation project aiming at the promotion of work-sharing.
The Trilateral Document Access (TDA) is a system-to-system interface that enables effective mutual access to the electronic dossier of each Trilateral Office (EPO, JPO and USPTO), retrieve dossier images with associated bibliographic data, and exchange electronically the priority documents.
The exchange of patent information and priority documents between Trilateral Offices will be then significantly improved.
JPO is proposing "One Portal Dossier Access System" in order to improve Dossier Access System to facilitate work-sharing.
A Set of Services
The TDA represents a set of business functionalities implemented as a services based on the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and Web Services. These services allow exchange of information related to patent applications in a decentralized and distributed environment, independently of both platform and language of programming.
As far as the TDA services are they can be subdivided into two sub-projects depending on their business and mode of exchange:
- File Wrapper Access (TDA-FWA): this is a synchronous transmission typically initiated by an examiner browsing through an application. The contents are returned as single page tiffs allowing the examiner to quickly navigate from page to page. TDA-FWA only allows access to published applications, with no current plans to access unpublished.
- Priority document eXchange (TDA-PDX): this is an asynchronous transmission of a group of documents that comprise a Priority Document. The documents are combined into a single PDF file which is digitally signed for authenticity. The documents are expected to be automatically ordered and loaded into the requestor's system. As of now, TDA-PDX only retrieves published applications. After the MOA is signed, TDA-PDX will also return unpublished applications.
The digital access service for priority documents (DAS) is to be established and administered by the International Bureau (IB) of WIPO.
The new service will enable a patent applicant claiming priority from an earlier application to rely on a copy of the priority document held in, or accessible via, the service, rather than having to provide a certified copy separately to each Patent Office with which a patent application claiming priority is filed.