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WASHINGTON - The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced a new pilot project for the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) with the Icelandic Patent Office (IPO). 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 Director General of the Icelandic Patent Office, Borghildur Erlingsdóttir, stated "we are very pleased with the PPH agreement concluded with the USPTO and look forward to close cooperation in this respect. The PPH program is not only valuable for our customers but also for the office and our role in addressing growing backlogs and the need for increased work-sharing cooperation between offices."
"We are excited by this new worksharing program and welcome the Icelandic Patent Office to this new cooperative framework," said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos. "This PPH program further expands the PPH network and gives our stakeholders more opportunities to access the benefits of improved timeliness of examination and greater patent quality."
Under the Patent Prosecution Highway, an applicant receiving a ruling from Icelandic Patent 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 Icelandic Patent Office. Full requirements for participation in each trial program at the USPTO can be found at http://www.uspto.gov/patents/init_events/pph/index.jsp. Information on the Icelandic Patent Office s program may be found at http://www.els.is/en.
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 Icelandic Patent Office. The trial period will start on December 1, 2011, and is set to expire on November 30, 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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