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US, China Announce Landmark Patent Pilot Programmes

by Glen Shapiro,, New York

02 December 2011

The Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), David Kappos, and the Commissioner of China’s State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), Tian Lipu, have announced the start of bilateral Paris Route and Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot programmes, beginning on December 1, 2011.

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 Paris Route PPH pilot programme, an Office of Second Filing (OSF) may utilize the search and examination results of a national application filed in the Office of First Filing in a corresponding application filed under the Paris Convention in the OSF. The PCT-PPH pilot programme will use positive international written opinions and international preliminary examination reports developed within the framework of the PCT.

“The PPH pilot programme is a prominent landmark in the continuous deepening of bilateral patent cooperation between the SIPO and the USPTO,” said Tian. “Patent applicants and stakeholders in both countries will benefit from the fast track examination provided by the PPH pilots. These PPH pilots will also effectively improve the capabilities of both offices to handle workloads, thereby promoting technology innovation and economic development in both countries through enhanced patent examination efficiency and quality.”

"These PPH pilots mark a significant milestone of achievement in patent cooperation between our two offices,” added Kappos. “They will promote high quality patents and expedite processing of patent applications in both offices by avoiding duplicative work and will provide greater costs savings to patent applicants, helping to spur greater innovation and generate greater economic growth and job creation in both countries.”

The one year pilot programmes will end on November 30, 2012. Both offices may extend the one year trial period upon mutual agreement. The purpose of the trial programmes is to gauge the interest of applicants and to evaluate the programs for patent quality, efficiency and the reduction of the workload at both the USPTO and the SIPO.

TAGS: business | patents | law | intellectual property | patent highway | China | United States | standards | regulation

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