September 05, 2007

The USPTO recently announced that it and the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office ("UK IPO") will now be "accepting" patent applications for fast-track examination. According to the USPTO press release (link below), "[t]he Patent Prosecution Highway will leverage fast-track patent examination in both offices to allow applicants in both countries to obtain corresponding patents faster and more efficiently" and "[i]t also will permit each office to benefit from work previously done by the other office, in turn reducing examination workload and improving patent quality." This joint effort (as part of the pilot Patent Prosecution Highway effort) will allow "an applicant receiving a ruling from either the UK IPO or the USPTO that at least one claim in an application is patentable" to request that the other patent office "fast track the examination of corresponding claims in corresponding applications." This trial period will run for one year (until September 4, 2008). The requirements for participation in the USPTO / UK IPO program can be found at the link below.

USPTO Press Release: LINK
Corresponding UK IPO Press Release: LINK
UK Intellectual Property Office: LINK
Participation Requirements: LINK

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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