In 2006, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) started the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) Pilot Program in partnership with the similar office of Japan (JPTO) with a view to accelerating the patenting procedure in respect of applications filed with the two offices. The program enables an applicant who receives a positive ruling on patent claims from one participating office to request accelerated prosecution of corresponding claims in the other participating office, based on the examination results from the first office. The applicant is thereby allowed to obtain a patentability decision in the second office more quickly.
The PPH promotes patent application processing efficiency by allowing the examiner in the office of later examination (OLE) to reuse the search and examination results from the office of earlier examination (=EE), thereby reducing personnel workload and duplication of effort.
Launched on 6th of January 2014, the Global PPH Pilot Program is now operating between various national offices, aiming at consolidating and replacing several earlier bilateral PPH programs. 17 offices all over the world are now being involved in this program in an attempt of using an unique applicant-friendlier procedure.
II. Trial Period for the PPH Pilot Program between OSIM and USPTO
Following the negotiations between the Romanian State Office for Inventions and Trademarks (OSIM) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) finalized by a Memorandum of understanding, the bilateral PPH Pilot Program between the two offices commenced on 15th of April 2015. It will run for a period of four years, ending on 14th of April 2019. The trial period may be extended if necessary and useful for the activity of both offices and beneficiaries thereof. During the trial period both offices shall continually evaluate the program results to determine wether the program needs to be modified for more effective operation or a flexible implementation of the Global PPH pilot program. The offices may also decide to terminate the pilot program earlier for significant reasons, such as the replacement of the bilateral framework while adopting the multilateral one in the Global PPH project.
OSIM is not currently a Global PPH participating office so that its partnership with USPTO is exclusively carried on on a bilateral basis. However, a PPH request submitted with the USPTO based on OSIM examination results shall be treated under the published Global PPH standards.
As regards the PPH requests submitted with OSIM in respect of the USPTO work results, they shall be treated as shown in Chapter III, below.
III. Procedure to file a request with the Romanian State Office for Inventions and Trademarks (OSIM) for Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) Pilot Program between the OSIM and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) – click here.
IV. The commencement of the pilot program shall be published in the Official Industrial Property Bulletin (BOPI) No 4/2015, Inventions Section.
Director General of OSIM