On November 8, 2011, Deputy Under-Secretary for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Teresa Stanek Rea and China’s State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) Commissioner Tian Lipu signed a Joint Statement of Intent creating two Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) Pilot Programs. The pilot programs, one for applications filed under the Paris Convention and one for those filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), will foster cooperation and improve efficiency between the two offices once they come into effect on December 1, 2011.
The Paris PPH program allows the search and examination results of a Paris application filed in the Office of the First Filing to be used for a corresponding application in the Office of the Second Filing. Under the PCT PPH program, favorable written opinions and international preliminary examination reports may be used to expedite examination.
These two programs are scheduled to run until November 30, 2012, and can be extended upon agreement by both patent offices. Being that China has joined the US as one of the top filing destinations for patent applications, these two pilot programs should be a valuable tool benefiting patent applicants and examiners alike. Would you be interested in using the USPTO-SINO PPH programs to expedite your patent applications?
More information on the PPH can be found on our blog here.