Patent Superhighway

UK USA and Japan continue good patent relations

The last twelve months have proven positive with the Patent Prosecution highway that the initial pilot agreement between the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) and the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and Japanese Patent Office (JPO) is to be continued. The pilot was started in July with the Japanese Patent Office and September with the US Patent Office. The recommendation followed a report on the impact of IP in the UK economy known as the Gowers report. The pilots will remain in operation to allow a larger number of applications to be received before the PPH is assessed in detail. The PPH allows patent applicants who have received an examination report from one of the participating intellectual property offices to request accelerated examination of a corresponding patent application filed in the other. This allows higher quality, more efficient processing of applications filed in the two offices by giving examiners easier access to the results of earlier examination work carried out on an equivalent application.

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