Washington - The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced a new pilot project for the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) with the Israel Patent Office (ILPO). PPH will permit each office to benefit from work previously done by the other office, which reduces the examination workload and improves patent quality. The expedited examination in each office allows applicants to obtain corresponding patents faster and more efficiently in each country. Under the PPH pilot program, an Office of Second Filing (OSF) may utilize the search and examination results of a national application filed in the Office of First Filing (OFF) in a corresponding application filed under the Paris Convention in the OSF.
The Head of the Israel Patent Office, Mr. Asa Kling, stated "An accelerated examination in the framework of the PPH will promote effective prosecution and improvement of patent quality, while reducing workload on examiners in both offices as well as on the applicants who may enjoy this new service."
""This new agreement now adds the first Patent Office in the Middle East Region," said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos. "The cooperation between our offices will greatly benefit our stakeholders by reducing delays due to duplication of work between our offices and improving patent quality."
Under the Patent Prosecution Highway, an applicant receiving a ruling from Israel Patent Office that at least one claim in an application is patentable may request that the USPTO fast track the examination of corresponding claims in corresponding applications. Similarly, if the USPTO determines that at least one claim is patentable, the applicant may request accelerated processing of corresponding applications filed at the Israel Patent Office. Full requirements for participation in each trial program at the USPTO can be found at www.uspto.gov/patents/init_events/pph/index.jsp. Information on the Israel Patent Office's program may be found at www.justice.gov.il/MOJEng/RashamHaptentim/Patents/PPH.htm.
The purpose of this trial program is to gauge the interest of applicants and determine if the program improves quality and efficiency and reduces the workload at the USPTO as well as the Israel Patent Office. The trial period will start on July 1, 2011, and is set to expire on June 30, 2012, but may be extended for up to one year or terminated earlier depending on volume of activity and other factors. The offices will provide notice of any adjustment in the trial period.
For non-press inquiries contact Magdalen Greenlief at 571-272-8850 or at Magdalen.Greenlief@uspto.gov.
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