• Patent Prosecution Highway Pilot Program Enacted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the Japan Patent Office Allows Faster Examination of Certain Applications
  • August 15, 2006
  • Law Firm: Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP - San Diego Office
  • The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently announced the "Patent Prosecution Highway" (PPH) pilot program with the Japan Patent Office (JPO), to promote timely exchange of search results when an application has been filed in both offices. Under the PPH pilot program, an applicant who filed first in the JPO and received a determination of allowability of at least one claim, may request earlier examination of the corresponding claim(s) filed in the USPTO. The PPH pilot program is reciprocal, such that the JPO also offers earlier examination of claims corresponding to allowed US claims. Only US or Japanese applications filed under the Paris Convention, claiming priority to corresponding Japanese or US applications, are eligible for the PPH pilot program. Applications that entered the national stage from PCT applications are not eligible for the PPH pilot program. A description of the PPH pilot program was published on June 13, 2006, in the Official Gazette (1307 OG 61).