USPTO and SIPO Sign Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Cooperation

Press Release

CONTACT: Peter Pappas or Jennifer Rankin Byrne

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Expanded cooperation to include establishment of Patent Prosecution Highway to reduce patent backlogs and increase efficiency

Washington - Commerce Under Secretary for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) David Kappos and China's State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) Commissioner Tian Lipu on May 19 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on comprehensive bilateral cooperation on patents during a ceremony at the USPTO. A primary focus will be to build worksharing programs, including a bilateral Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) agreement, in order to reduce both Offices' growing backlogs and shorten patent pendency.

The MOU establishes a general framework for bilateral cooperation between the USPTO and the SIPO with an aim toward improving the administration and effectiveness of the intellectual property systems through the exchange of information as well as the development of best practices and cooperative activities.

"This memorandum reconfirms and further strengthens our commitment to the growing cooperative relationship between our two offices," said Under Secretary Kappos. "I am especially pleased that we have agreed to work toward constructing a Patent Prosecution Highway where both Offices can leverage each other's examination expertise to eliminate work redundancy, increase efficiency and increase patent quality."

Commissioner Tian added, "Since I last visited in 2006, the bilateral cooperation between our two offices has advanced significantly. This MOU takes note of our accomplishments, advances our shared vision of bilateral cooperation and further reinforces the partnership between USPTO and SIPO."

The two offices will immediately begin planning the implementation of these cooperative projects under the MOU.