IP NEWS

Patent Prosecution Highway between Canada and United States extended for two years

16/01/2009

The Canadian and United States patent offices have announced a two year extension of the Patent Prosecution Highway (“PPH”) Pilot Program. The pilot program, originally scheduled to expire on January 28, 2009, will now run until January 28, 2011.

Under the program, an applicant who receives a ruling from either the Canadian or U.S. patent offices that at least one claim in a patent application is patentable may request the other office to fast track the examination of corresponding claims in corresponding applications. During the pilot, the government fee for entering the program is waived.

The program has particular value to applicants who require issued patents on a rapid basis. In the absence of an expedited application process, the typical patent application requires over three years to issue to a patent, and frequently substantially longer. However, under the expedited programs within the U.S. and Canadian patent offices, this is reduced to about one year.

The PPH has the potential to allow applicants to realize the benefits of a granted patent at a significantly earlier date. This can be a valuable benefit to many inventors, although in some cases there can be tactical advantages to delaying the patent application process.

Please contact one of our professionals if you wish to discuss the potential benefits of this program in your particular case, or if you have any other questions relating to intellectual property law.

This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice.

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