We have previously reported on the patent prosecution highway (PPH) and its ability to reduce workload and increase patent quality by encouraging cooperation among international patent offices. In another step to expand this program, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) recently announced the start of a PPH pilot between the two offices. The US-Taiwan PPH pilot is scheduled to commence on September 1, 2011, for a period of a year.
Under the PPH pilot program, an Office of Second Filing (OSF) may utilize the search and examination results of an application filed in the Office of First Filing (OFF) in a corresponding application filed in the OSF. If at least one claim is determined patentable by either the USPTO or TIPO, the applicant can request accelerated examination of the corresponding application in either office.
Additional information on the PPH can be found here.