Washington - The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced a new pilot project for the Patent Prosecution Highway with the Nordic Patent Institute (NPI) based on NPI's Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) work products (PCT-PPH pilot program). PPH will permit the USPTO to benefit from the PCT work previously done by the NPI, which reduces the examination workload and improves patent quality. The expedited examination allows applicants to obtain corresponding patents faster and more efficiently in the United States. 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 with Nordic Patent Institute will add an important partner to the growing PPH network," said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos. "Applicants will have greater opportunities to use PPH and benefit from the expedited examination and higher patent quality."
This project is an important step forward for Nordic Patent Institute and its member states," said Lone Hartung Nielsen, Director of NPI. "Since we started operations in 2008 it has been our top priority to provide the Nordic users with the best possible framework conditions for operating efficiently in a patent active market. This project will give our users the possibility to accelerate their application in one of the world's most important markets. We look forward to cooperating with the USPTO on this positive development of the PCT system in the near future. "
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 NPI 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 www.uspto.gov/patents/init_events/pph/index.jsp. Information on the Nordic Patent Institute's PCT-PPH program may be found at www.npi.int/pct/pph.
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. The trial period will start on July 1, 2011, and is set to expire on June 30, 2012, but may be extended for up to one year or terminated earlier depending on volume of activity and other factors. The USPTO will provide notice of any adjustment in the trial period.
For non-press inquiries contact PPHfeedback@uspto.gov.
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