Patent Prosecution Highway Between USPTO and SPTO (Pilot)
The Patent Prosecution Highway in Conjunction With the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (SPTO)
Under the Patent Prosecution Highway, an applicant receiving a ruling from either the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (SPTO) 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 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 USPTO has implemented PPH 2.0 with respect to the SPTO. 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 USPTO's PPH 2.0 program with respect to the SPTO commenced on January 29, 2012, and was due to terminate on January 28, 2013. In order to adequately assess the feasibility of the PPH 2.0 program, the USPTO will continue to collect information beyond January 28, 2013, before any final decision on the program is made. The PPH 2.0 program therefore has been extended indefinitely.