UK businesses set to benefit from streamlined international patent process
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05 August 2011 - BIS and IPO
A new pilot scheme, increasing the flexibility of the Patent
Prosecution Highway will provide more support for UK businesses
operating in the US and Japan.
The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) is an existing scheme
that can speed up the process of getting patents granted in
participating countries. It gives applicants who have received a
favourable decision by a first examining office the opportunity to
request an accelerated examination at another office.
The new ‘Mottainai’ pilot
will help ease the process by relaxing requirements around priority and
timing of application. Previously, patent applications have only been
eligible for the PPH if they met strict requirements relating to the
order in which they were filed and the priority which they claimed.
Offices participating in the pilot programme will relax these
requirements so that applicants may benefit from the PPH regardless of
the order in which their applications were filed or the priority
‘Mottainai’ is a Japanese
term meaning ‘a sense of regret concerning waste when the intrinsic
value of an object or resource is not properly utilised.’
Minister for Intellectual
Property Baroness Wilcox said:
“The Patent Prosecution
Highway can significantly speed up the often lengthy process of gaining
a patent and help minimise the associated costs to the applicant. It
also helps to reduce patent backlogs by minimising the duplication of
work carried out by offices.
“Relaxing the priority
requirements will provide greater opportunity and flexibility for
businesses to take advantage of quicker and cheaper international
patent protection. A greater use of the PPH will also improve the
efficiency of participating offices and help contribute to granting
high quality patents.”
The ‘Mottainai’ pilot
programme will involve the Intellectual Property Office’s PPH
agreements with the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) and the US Patents and
Trade Marks Office (USPTO). The pilot will run for an initial one year
period until 14 July 2012.
- The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is within the
Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) and is
responsible for the national framework of Intellectual Property rights,
comprising patents, designs, trade marks and copyright.
- Its role is to help manage an IP system that encourages
innovation and creativity, balances the needs of consumers and users,
promotes strong and competitive markets and is the foundation of the
- It operates in a national and an international environment
and its work is governed by national and international law, including
various international treaties relating to Intellectual Property (IP)
to which the United Kingdom is a party.
- While PPH agreements have traditionally included
restrictions based on both the order of filing and the countries from
which applications initially claim priority, the pilot program will
trial the ‘MOTTAINAI’ model under which requests for acceleration can
be made under a PPH agreement regardless of the order in which the
various applications were filed or the original priority claimed by the
About the Author
© Crown Copyright. Material taken from the BIS Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Reproduced under the terms and conditions of the Click-Use Licence.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2011-08-06 17:40:28 in Legal Articles