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USPTO, UKIPO Issue Cooperation Progress Report

by Glen Shapiro,, New York

23 April 2012

A joint report published by the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) confirms that both offices have been making efficient use of each other’s work, which has led to an improvement in the quality of patents being granted.

In 2010, the UKIPO and USPTO agreed to investigate ways to reduce patent processing backlogs in both countries. Through closer collaboration, both parties have improved the efficiency and quality of the patent examination process. This was achieved by enabling patent examiners from each office to make greater use of each other’s work on commonly-filed patent applications.

Under the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) , an applicant receiving a ruling from either the UKIPO or the USPTO that at least one claim in an application is patentable may request that the other Office fast track the examination of corresponding claims in corresponding applications. The PPH will leverage fast-track patent examination procedures already available in both offices to allow applicants in both countries to obtain corresponding patents faster and more efficiently.

John Alty, Chief Executive Officer of the UKIPO, said: “This important (report) highlights that our examiners now routinely look at work from the other Offices, and informs our continued efforts to maximize quality and efficiency savings via work-sharing.”

David Kappos, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, added: “This work-sharing effort represents a major step forward in our ongoing cooperation with the UKIPO, and we are pleased with the results thus far. By making more efficient and effective use of each other’s work, we can reduce the cost of doing business and help innovators move their products to market faster, with more predictability and certainty.”

The UKIPO and USPTO have concluded that they will build on the joint report by continuing their work-sharing efforts, and seeking to maximize the efficiency with which they use shared work reports.

TAGS: business | patents | intellectual property | patent highway | United Kingdom | patent search | United States

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