Washington – The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced a new pilot project for the Patent Prosecution Highway with the Swedish Patent and Registration Office (PRV) based on Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) work products (PCT-PPH pilot program). PPH will permit each office to benefit from the PCT 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. The PCT-PPH program will use international written opinions and international preliminary examination reports developed within the framework of the Patent Cooperation Treaty.
“This new pilot marks a significant achievement in the growing bilateral cooperation between our two offices,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos. “The Swedish Patent and Registration Office is an important partner in the expanding PPH network. Applicants will benefit from expedited examination and higher patent quality through the elimination of duplicative work.”
Mrs. Susanne Ås Sivborg, Director General of PRV said, “To provide high quality, timely processing and excellent services to our applicants is a top priority for PRV and this pilot is a milestone in this work. Reduction and elimination of duplication of work will increase quality and provide more effective procedures. This will bring benefits to applicants and provide business opportunities for companies both in Sweden and in the U.S.”
Under the PCT-PPH pilot program, an applicant receiving a positive written opinion or a positive international preliminary report in a PCT application where the PRV was the International Searching Authority or the International Preliminary Examination Authority may request that the USPTO fast track the examination of corresponding claims in corresponding applications. Full requirements for participation in the PCT-PPH pilot program at the USPTO can be found at http://www.uspto.gov/patents/init_events/pph/index.jsp. Information on the Swedish Patent and Registration Office’s PCT-PPH program may be found at http://www.prv.se/Om-oss/Nyheter/Patent-Prosecution-Highway.
The purpose of the PCT-PPH pilot program is to gauge the interest of applicants and determine if the program improves quality and efficiency and reduces the workload at the USPTO as well as the Swedish Patent and Registration office. The trial period will start on June 1, 2011, and is set to expire on May 31, 2013, but may be extended for up to one year or terminated earlier depending on volume of activity and other factors. The offices will provide notice of any adjustment in the trial period.