Washington - The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced a new pilot project for the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) with the Norwegian Industrial Property Office (NIPO). 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 Acting Director General of the Norwegian Industrial Property Office, Ms. Toril Foss, stated "We are proud of the Norwegian Industrial Property Office's first cooperation agreement on Patent Prosecution Highway Pilot Program with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). It will be very valuable for our office to cooperate with the USPTO with a view to improving timeliness and quality for the benefit of the society and our common users."
"We welcome this new cooperation with the Norwegian Industrial Property office," said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos. "This new PPH program with such a highly skilled office will benefit our stakeholders through accelerated examination and higher patent quality."
Under the Patent Prosecution Highway, an applicant receiving a ruling from Norwegian Industrial Property 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 Norwegian Industrial Property 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 Norwegian Industrial Property Office's program may be found at www.patentstyret.no/en/patents/PPH.
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 Norwegian Industrial Property Office. The trial period will start on November 1, 2011, and is set to expire on October 31, 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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