The PCT-Patent Prosecution Highway in Conjunction With the Austrian Patent Office
Under the PCT-Patent Prosecution Highway, an applicant receiving a written opinion or an international preliminary examination report from either the Austrian Patent Office (APO) or the USPTO that at least one claim in a PCT application has novelty, inventive step, and industrial applicability may request that the other office fast track the examination of corresponding claims in corresponding applications. The PCT-Patent Prosecution Highway will leverage fast-track patent examination procedures already available in both offices to allow applicants in both countries to obtain corresponding patents faster and more efficiently.
As of May 25, 2010, the USPTO has eliminated the fee for the petition to make special under the PPH programs.
The trial period, which started 01 October 2010 and was originally set to expire 30 September 2011, has been extended in order to collect more information before any formal decision on the program is made.
View the USPTO Press Release announcing the pilot program.
View the APO Press Release (in German) for the pilot program.
PCT-Patent Prosecution Highway Requests to USPTO
Patent Prosecution Highway Pilot Program between the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the Austrian Patent Office based on Patent Cooperation Treaty Work Products (signed 17 September 2010)
PCT-Patent Prosecution Highway Requests to APO
How to make a request (published by the APO in English)
Request form (published by the APO in German)