Patent Prosecution Highway Pilot

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and Nordic Patent Institute have announced a new pilot project for the Patent Prosecution Highway based on Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) work products (PCT-PPH pilot program).

The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) is a set of initiatives for speeding up the examination process for corresponding applications filed in participating countries by allowing examiners to reuse search and examination results.

Under the PCT-PPH pilot program between USPTO and Nordic Patent Institute, an applicant receiving a positive written opinion or a positive international preliminary report in a PCT application where Nordic Patent Institute 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.

"This project is an important step forward for Nordic Patent Institute and its member states," said Lone Hartung Nielsen, Director of the Institute. "Since we started operations in 2008 it has been our top priority to provide Nordic users with the best possible framework conditions for operating efficiently in a patent active market. This project will give our users the possibility to accelerate their application in one of the world's most important markets. We look forward to cooperating with the USPTO on this positive development of the PCT system in the near future."

"This pilot with Nordic Patent Institute will add an important partner to the growing PPH network," said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos. "Applicants will have greater opportunities to use PPH and benefit from the expedited examination and higher patent quality."

Full requirements for participation in the PCT-PPH pilot program at the USPTO can be found at www.uspto.gov/patents/init_events/pph/index.jsp.

More information on the PPH may also be found here on the Nordic Patent Institute web site.

The pilot project is set to start on July 1, 2011, and is set to expire on June 30, 2012, but may be extended for up to one year or terminated earlier depending on volume of activity and other factors.

For more information contact Grétar Ingi Grétarsson, Vice-Director of Nordic Patent Institute, +45 4350 8500, gretar.ingi.gretarsson@npi.int.