September 25, 2013
Yesterday it was announced that the world's five largest intellectual property offices (the IP5)—the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the State Intellectual Property Office of the People's Republic of China (SIPO), and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)—agreed to launch a shared work pilot program known as the IP5 Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH). The program will become active in January of 2014. The PPH arrangements currently operational among the IP5 offices will be integrated into this new program.
Under the new PPH program, applicants whose patent claims have been found to be patentable by one IP office may ask for accelerated processing of their corresponding applications pending before the other offices. Applicants will be able to file requests to use the PPH with any of the IP5 offices on the basis of Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) work product or national work products established by any of the IP5 offices. More details about the PPH program are expected to be announced shortly.
For more details on this pilot program, please see the official announcement on the EPO website.
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