Washington — The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and Brazil’s National Institute for Industrial Property (INPI) agreed to establish a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program. The pilot program will reduce patent workloads and further improve patent quality.
PPH agreements are cooperative initiatives that streamline the patent examination process by promoting expeditious, less costly, and more effective patent protection. The USPTO and INPI plan to launch the two-year pilot program on January 11, 2016.
“This agreement strengthens the economic relationship between the United States and Brazil and further highlights the commitment both countries have made to provide a high quality and efficient intellectual property system that will make it easier for innovators of all sizes to do business in a global economy.” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Michelle K. Lee.
The PPH is an international cooperative framework that provides for fast-track examination of patent applications in participating patent offices. Pursuant to the program, an applicant receiving a favorable ruling on patentability from one office may request that the other participating office expedite the examination of a commonly filed application. By leveraging each office’s work products, participating offices can accelerate processing and improve patent quality, which in turn allows applicants to obtain higher quality patents in multiple jurisdictions with significant savings in terms of time and money.
This new PPH pilot program is the centerpiece of the June 2015 U.S.-Brazil Commercial Dialogue Joint Statement on Patent Work Sharing signed by Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Brazilian Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Armando Monteiro. The program complements efforts already under way in both Brazil and the United States to reduce patent backlogs and shorten patent pendency — the time between filing a patent application and its grant — by leveraging the patent expertise and work product of patent examiners at both national patent offices.
The final agreement and requirements for participation in the USPTO-INPI PPH are available at: www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/documents/PPH_MOU_and_Workplan_USPTO-INPI.pdf
The USPTO and INPI will continue to monitor the progress of the PPH program. The two-year pilot program may be extended upon mutual agreement of the offices.
For non-press inquiries contact Jesus J. Hernandez at Jesus.Hernandez@uspto.gov (link sends e-mail)
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