PCT-Patent Prosecution Highway Between USPTO and EPO (Pilot)
The PCT-Patent Prosecution Highway in Conjunction With the European Patent Office
Under the PCT-Patent Prosecution Highway, an applicant receiving a written opinion or an international preliminary examination report from either the European Patent Office (EPO) 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 started on 29 January 2010 and was originally set to expire on 28 January 2012, but has been extended for two years ending on 28 January 2014 in order to collect more information before any formal decision on the program is made.
>> View Press Release announcing the pilot program.
>> View the EPO Announcement on the pilot program.
PCT-Patent Prosecution Highway Requests to USPTO
PCT-Patent Prosecution Highway Requests to EPO
How to make a request (published by the EPO, includes links to request form)