April 23, 2009

Last week, the USPTO announced that it has partnered with the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) in establishing the newest Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program. This new program, starting on April 27th of this year and running for an initial two period, is being established to "streamline the patent system and promote expeditious, inexpensive and high-quality patent protection throughout the world." According to John Doll, the Acting Director of the USPTO, "The Patent Prosecution Highway with Germany will eliminate redundant work and expedite processing," and "By working with our colleagues at the German Patent and Trade Mark Office, both offices will increase the efficiency of the patent process and will further expand a worldwide network that allows a broader array of inventors to take advantage of these benefits." This is the ninth PPH program between the USPTO and a foreign patent office. According to the USPTO (as noted in the second link below), "Under PPH agreements, an applicant receiving a favorable ruling from one nation's patent office on at least one claim in an application may request that the corresponding application filed with the other nation advance out of turn for examination. By coordinating patentable results between both nations' offices, applicants can expect to obtain patents in both nations more quickly."

USPTO/DPMA PPH Details: LINK
USPTO Announcement: LINK
USPTO Requirements for DPMA PPH: 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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