USPTO and the Korean Intellectual Property Office Announce Patent Prosecution Highway Pilot Based on Patent Cooperation Treaty Work Products

Expanded pilot project will promote efficiency and higher quality
Press Release

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Washington - The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced the expansion of the PCT-PPH pilot program with the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO). The USPTO-KIPO PCT-PPH pilot started June 1, 2010 and originally allowed only PCT work product from KIPO as a basis to enter PPH at the USPTO. The expanded pilot will now permit PCT work product done by the USPTO as a basis to enter into KIPO. The expedited examination in each office allows applicants to obtain corresponding patents faster and with greater quality in each country. The PCT-PPH program will use international written opinions and international preliminary examination reports developed within the framework of the Patent Cooperation Treaty.

"This pilot expansion will allow applicants in both countries to benefit from the PCT work done by the other office," said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos. "The PCT-PPH program will allow users to get patent protection more quickly for their inventions, which ultimately will promote greater exports for global trade."

Commissioner Soowon Lee of KIPO said "The expanded PCT-PPH pilot has broken new ground for KIPO. Expedited examinations based on the PCT work products of the other office will pave the way for applicants from both Korea and the U.S. to obtain patents at KIPO and the USPTO in an easier and faster manner."

Under the PCT-PPH pilot program, an applicant receiving a positive written opinion or a positive international preliminary report in a PCT application where the KIPO was the International Searching Authority or the International Preliminary Examination Authority may request that the USPTO fast track the examination of corresponding claims in corresponding applications. Full requirements for participation in the PCT-PPH pilot program at the USPTO can be found at Information on KIPO's PCT-PPH program may be found at

The purpose of the PCT-PPH pilot 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 the Korean Intellectual Property Office. The expanded portion of the pilot will start on July 1, 2011, and is set to expire on May 31, 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.

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