Washington, D.C. - The Commerce Department's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Danish Patent and Trademark Office (DKPTO) today announced that they intend to launch a new trial cooperation initiative called the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) today. The Patent Prosecution Highway will leverage fast-track patent examination procedures already available in both offices to allow applicants to obtain corresponding patents faster and more efficiently. It also will permit each office to exploit the work previously done by the other office and reduce duplication. In turn, the initiative will reduce examination workload and improve patent quality.
"We are very pleased to be working in partnership with our Danish colleagues on this pilot. PPH is an integral part of our worksharing efforts to combat the growing global backlog of applications. By leveraging the work previously done by another office, we will be able to expedite the patent examination process and ensure higher patent quality," said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Jon Dudas.
DKPTO Director General Jesper Kongstad added, "This is a valuable improvement of the patent system for both U.S. and Danish applicants. Rapid examination and high patent quality are crucial for today's businesses, and I find it important that we continue to look for efficient solutions like the PPH pilot that improve the framework for IPR protection."
Under the Patent Prosecution Highway, an applicant whose application filed with either the DKPTO or the USPTO contains at least one allowable claim may request that the other office fast track the examination of corresponding claims in corresponding applications. Full requirements for participation in the trial program will be available prior to implementation at www.uspto.gov/web/patents/pph/pph_dkpto.html and www.dkpto.org/business-services/patent-prosecution-highways-(pph).aspx.
The purpose of the trial program is to gauge the interest of applicants and determine if the program improves quality and efficiency and reduces the workload at each office. The trial period will be set for one year but may be extended or terminated earlier depending on volume of activity and other factors. Both offices will provide notice of any adjustment in the trial period.