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USPTO and the TIPO, Under the Auspices of AIT and TECRO, Establish a Patent Prosecution Highway Pilot

23-Aug-2011 | Source : AG-IP News | Visits : 9138
WASHINGTON - The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), as the designated representative of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), announced in a press release a new pilot project for the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) with the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO), as the designated representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the United States. The PPH will permit each office to benefit from work previously done by the other office, which reduces the examination workload and improves patent quality. 

“The PPH partnership between TIPO and the USPTO is an inspirational milestone for patent examination,” said Director General of TIPO Mei-hua Wang. “This pilot project fulfills the expectation of patent applicants while lessening the workload of patent examiners. TIPO is pleased to partake in this cooperation for the advancement of a global PPH network.” 

“This pilot adds an important partner to the growing PPH network,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos. “The Taiwan Intellectual Property Office represents a rich source of high quality work product. With this pilot, applicants will have greater opportunities to use PPH and benefit from expedited examination and higher patent quality.” 

The expedited examination in each office allows applicants to obtain corresponding patents faster and more efficiently. 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. 

Through PPH, an applicant receiving a ruling from the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office that at least one claim in an application is patentable may also request that the USPTO fast track the examination of corresponding claims in corresponding applications. Similarly, if the USPTO determines that at least one claim is patentable, the applicant may request accelerated processing of corresponding applications filed at the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office. 

The purpose of this trial 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 Taiwan Intellectual Property Office. The trial period will start on September 1, 2011, and is set to expire on August 31, 2012, but may be extended or terminated earlier depending on volume of activity and other factors. The offices will provide notice of any adjustment in the trial period.

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