The EPO and WIPO have signed a three-year technical cooperation scheme, which they say is first of its kind between the two institutions.
Although few details were released, the scheme will centre on the Patent Cooperation Treaty, for which the EPO is the largest international searching authority.
The aim will be to improve how the PCT functions, by enhancing the granting process, searching and access to patent information. Francis Gurry, WIPO director general, said it was "based first and foremost on a shared vision of the PCT as the core work-sharing platform of the international patent system".
Two specific aims in the three years are the fully electronic exchange of PCT documents between the two offices and better digital exchange of patent information products.