December 26, 2007

It was recently announced that a joint effort between the USPTO and the Japanese Patent Office (JPO), the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH), will soon be implemented on a full-time basis. The PPH effort began in July, 2006, as an initial feasibility study, and after noted successes by both office leaders, the program is scheduled to go full-time on January 4, 2008, one day after the initial part-time trial is scheduled to end. According to Jon Dudas, the Director of the USPTO, “The pilot project shows that the Patent Prosecution Highway offers significant potential for our offices to make inroads in reducing our backlogs, eliminating redundant work, and examining more efficiently,” and that “[b]y leveraging work done by other offices, the USPTO can make better use of its resources to speed up processing and improve quality.” According to the USPTO announcement (link below), “Implementation of the PPH is a cornerstone of the January 2007 cooperation initiative between the United States Department of Commerce and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on enhanced intellectual property rights protection,” and “the initiative calls for the USPTO and the JPO to demonstrate leadership by taking a proactive approach to streamlining practices and procedures under the international patent system to promote expeditious, inexpensive and high-quality patent protection throughout the world.”

USPTO Press Release: LINK
USPTO PPH Webpage: LINK
JPO PPH Webpage: 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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