On November 20, 2015, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office launched "Global Dossier," available at http://globaldossier.uspto.gov/#/, which provides access to patent applications and their corresponding prosecution histories in the U.S., Europe, China, Korea and Japan. The next step will be to add access to other countries, including the database of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which currently processes all Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications.
Those already familiar with Europe's Espacenet patent searching website (refer to our links page) will find the USPTO Global Dossier somewhat familiar, as the intent is to provide an even more user-friendly access portal through the USPTO website. While the USPTO has acted as receiving office for PCT applications for years, this new web portal is considered a step toward the USPTO becoming a venue for filing patent applications in multiple individual countries of an applicant's choosing. The resultant streamlining is expected to result in an overall reduction in filing costs.