The U.S. Patent Office has set up an electronic database for foreign patent documents. American examiners can now word-search and view bibliographic data and abstracts from the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Japanese Patent Office in a variety of fields. The available database contains more than 1 million abstracts from European countries, including EPO documents and publications of the World Intellectual Property Organization. Included, too, are nearly 4 million abstracts of Japanese patents. Examiners can view clipped images of most of the patent data. The U.S. also is promoting a "wire the world" initiative that embraces advanced information systems. At the heart of the initiative is the establishment of a secure network that would link intellectual property offices in several countries. Among many suggested projects for the network is establishment of an automated system for processing patent applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty and other intellectual property offices.
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