The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Federal Service for Intellectual Property, Patents and Trademarks of the Russian Federation (ROSPATENT) have agreed to partner in establishing a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program. PPH agreements are cooperative initiatives that streamline the patent system and promote expeditious, inexpensive and high-quality patent protection throughout the world. The USPTO and ROSPATENT plan to launch the pilot program on September 1, 2010, and continue it for a period of one year.
“As the USPTO and other patent offices throughout the world face challenges of increased patent filings and growing backlogs, it is important that we work together to find ways to streamline processing and avoid redundancy,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos. “The Patent Prosecution Highway program is an important step toward the goal of maximizing reutilization of work done by other offices. PPH has shown that through cooperation with other patent offices, genuine time and cost savings can be reached that benefit both applicants and offices. We look forward to starting a pilot PPH program with ROSPATENT.”
Director General of ROSPATENT Dr. Simonov added, “The development of PPH would undoubtedly have synergetic results because such system will provide the impulse for solution of tasks related to further development of the patent cooperation treaty (PCT) by interactions between the PPH and the PCT, decreasing of backlogs of unexamined patent applications as well as establishing international standards of carrying out patent search and examination.”
Under PPH agreements, an applicant receiving a favorable ruling from one nation’s patent office on at least one claim in an application may request that the corresponding application filed with the other nation be fast tracked for examination. By coordinating patentable results between both nations’ offices, applicants can expect to obtain patents in both nations more quickly.
The USPTO and ROSPATENT will continue to evaluate the needs of applicants and the progress of the PPH. Discussions on revisions to the requirements and to improve the procedure of the PPH will be ongoing.