USPTO and European Patent Office to Extend Patent Prosecution Highway Pilot Program

September 23, 2009
Press Release 09-17

CONTACT: Jennifer Rankin Byrne or Ruth Nyblod
Phone: (571) 272-8400 or jennifer.rankin_byrne@uspto.gov or Ruth.Nyblod@uspto.gov

WASHINGTON - The Commerce Department's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the European Patent Office (EPO) will extend the trial period for the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program for an additional year, effective September 30, 2009. The current PPH pilot program is scheduled to end on September 29, 2009.

PPH agreements are cooperative initiatives that streamline the patent system and promote expeditious, inexpensive and high-quality patent protection throughout the world.

Under PPH agreements, an applicant receiving a favorable ruling from one nation's patent office on at least one claim in an application may request that the corresponding application filed with the other nation advance out of turn for examination. By coordinating patentable results between both nations' offices, applicants can expect to obtain patents in both nations more quickly.

Updated USPTO requirements for participation in the U.S.-European PPH will be available at: www.uspto.gov/web/patents/pph/pph_epo.html.

Updated EPO requirements for participation will be found at:
www.epo.org/patents/law/legal-texts/InformationEPO/archiveinfo/20080926.html.