Patent Prosecution Highway Between USPTO and DPMA (Pilot)
The Patent Prosecution Highway in Conjunction With the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA)
Under the Patent Prosecution Highway, an applicant receiving a ruling from either the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) or the USPTO that at least one claim in an application is patentable may request that the other office fast track the examination of corresponding claims in corresponding applications. The Patent Prosecution Highway leverages 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 USPTO and the DPMA commenced on April 27, 2009, a pilot of the Patent Prosecution Highway program. The pilot was originally scheduled to run until April 27, 2011, but it was extended for an additional two years to April 26, 2013.
On April 27, 2013, the USPTO implemented PPH 2.0 with respect to the DPMA. PPH 2.0 simplifies the PPH requirements and procedures in a consolidated and user-friendly framework, while at the same time ensuring that work sharing benefits to the USPTO are not diminished. It is important to note that PPH 2.0 has only been implemented at the USPTO at this time, i.e., unilaterally.
The trial period for the USPTO's PPH 2.0 program with respect to the DPMA will terminate on April 26, 2015. The revised requirements will apply to PPH requests filed at the USPTO on or after April 27, 2013, based on claims that have been determined allowable in a corresponding application filed in the DPMA. The trial period may be extended if necessary to adequately assess the feasibility of the PPH 2.0 program. The USPTO and the DPMA will evaluate the results of the PPH 2.0 program to determine whether and how the program should be implemented after the trial period. The offices may also terminate the PPH 2.0 program early if the volume of participation exceeds a manageable level or for any other reason. Notice will be published if the PPH 2.0 program with respect to the DPMA will be terminated before April 26, 2015.