USPTO and the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property Partner on Patent Prosecution Highway Pilot

Press Release

CONTACT: Peter Pappas or Jennifer Rankin Byrne

(571) 272-8400 or

New pilot project will promote efficiency and higher quality

Washington - The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced a new pilot project for the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) with the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI). 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.

"Patent offices around the world have been adopting work sharing to address their growing backlogs and increased examination times. PPH is our most advanced work-sharing program," said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos. "Our new agreement marks a historic step in the expansion of the PPH network by including an important North American partner. IMPI offers a high level of patent expertise and is a valuable work-sharing resource. Our new cooperation will serve our applicants by reducing delays due to duplication of work between our offices and improving patent quality."

Mr. Jorge Amigo, Director of the IMPI, said, "IMPI is constantly updating to meet the needs of the user and provide accelerated means of protection for their inventions. That is why we must explore new work-sharing programs like the Patent Prosecution Highway and offer our users its many benefits."

Under the Patent Prosecution Highway, an applicant receiving a ruling from IMPI 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 IMPI. Full requirements for participation in each trial program at the USPTO can be found at Information on the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property's PPH program may be found at

The purpose of these trial programs 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 Mexican Institute of Industrial Property. The trial period will start on March 1, 2011, and is set to expire on February 29, 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

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