On January 29, 2010, the USPTO entered into a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) Pilot Program with its counterpart offices in Europe and Japan. Under the PPH program, Written Opinions or International Preliminary Examination Reports issued by either the European Patent Office or Japanese Patent Office indicating that at least one claim possesses novelty, inventive step and industrial application would “fastrack” the corresponding application in the USPTO.
Benefits of proceeding via the PPH program (which is free to request), include:
- Accelerated examination (examination within 2-3 months of grant of PPH request);
- Greater efficiency (over 90% of PPH cases are allowed);
- Decreased prosecution costs (fewer actions per disposal); and
- Reduced pendency.
The PPH Pilot Program was scheduled to expire on January 28, 2012. However, the USPTO recently announced that the PPH Program will be extended for 2 years until January 28, 2014 for both the EPO and JPO.
Are you interested in participating in the PPH? Click here to learn more about the program.