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Archived updates for Tuesday, April 29, 2008

USPTO Publishes Common Application Format for EPO and JPO

As the result of a trilateral conference ending November 9,2007, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Japan Patent Office (JPO) addressing the global workload challenges arising from the growth and complexity of patent applications worldwide. Among other things, the offices "agreed on a common application format which will simplify and streamline application filing requirements in each office to allow applicants to prepare a single
application in the common application format for acceptance in each of the three offices." Under the Basic
Priciples of that Trilateral Work Group
, "An application which complies with the Common Application Format shall be accepted without any further amendment by any of the Trilateral Offices as a national/regional application as far as the agreed-upon formal requirements are concerned. Each of the Trilateral Offices may provide requirements which are more favorable for applicants than the requirements provided for by the Common Application Format."

The USPTO has now released additional information concerning this common application format in what appears to
be a
pre-OG notice available on the Internet. According to the Notice:

This format, which was developed in consultation with users from the three regions, will simplify and streamline
application filing requirements in each Office to allow applicants to prepare a single application in the common application format for acceptance in each of the three Offices.
. . .

Implementation Status of the Common Application Format

EPO: The EPO is planning to implement the Common Application Format (CAF) in the beginning of 2009. Paper, PDF and XML format will be accepted.


JPO: The JPO is preparing for the introduction of the Common Application Format in early 2009, except that the sequence listing is a separate part of the description and that the request contains the number of the figure of the drawings which the applicant suggests should accompany the abstract are scheduled to be introduced in 2011.

USPTO: Current USPTO rules and procedure are consistent with the Common Application Format. While some of the requirements of the Common Application Format go beyond what the USPTO requires, the USPTO will accept an application in the Common Application Format.

Example Format

The following is an example of a patent application format which complies with the Common Application Format. For legibility purposes, each heading is indented in this paper.

Description

Title of Invention

Technical Field

0001

Background Art

0002

Summary of Invention

Technical Problem

0003

Solution to Problem

0004

0005

Advantageous Effects of Invention

0006

Brief Description of Drawings


0007

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Description of Embodiments

0008

Examples

0009

0010

Example 1

0011

Example 2

0012

Industrial Applicability

0013

Reference Signs List

0014

Reference to Deposited Biological Material


0015

Sequence Listing Free Text

0016

Citation List Patent Literature


0017

Non Patent Literature

0018

Claims

Claim 1

Claim 2

Abstract

Drawings

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Sequence Listing

Relation of the Common Application Format to the PLT and PCT

The Common Application Format rationalizes divergent filing requirements applied in each of the Trilateral Offices. Noting that the Patent Law Treaty (PLT) has not yet come into force for any of the Trilateral Offices, some elements of the Common Application Format harmonize diverging filing requirements for national/regional applications filed in each of the Trilateral Offices by referring to the corresponding PCT provisions, which
would apply prior to the PLT coming into effect for all of the Trilateral Offices. Other elements of the Common Application Format address issues not regulated by the PCT for which the offices have different practices. Still
other elements pertain to issues that go beyond the PCT but, in terms of future development, represent what the offices consider to be appropriate means for addressing those issues.

For further information, please contact Diana Oleksa at 571-272-3291.

For more background on the Common Application Format, check out the "Website of the Trilateral Cooperation" with the links to the following information from November 20, 2007:
As noted by Patent Docs on April 28, 2008, Annex I previously clarified that

  • Applicants will not be required to remove National Legends (i.e., cross references to related applications and statements regarding federal funding) from the description.
  • A statement of industrial applicability shall be included when it is not obvious from the description or nature of the invention.
  • Applicants will not be required to remove any reference citation list from the description.
  • Applicants shall use the International System of Units (SI) in the description, but may use additional alternative unit systems as long as SI units are placed in parentheses.
  • Paragraphs of the description (but not the title or section headings) shall be numbered consecutively using Arabic numerals.
  • Mathematical or chemical formulae shall be preceded by a sign indicating that the formula is mathematical ("Math.") or chemical ("Chem."), followed by a space, and then by an Arabic numeral (e.g., Chem. 1)
  • Tables shall be preceded by a sign indicating that the table is a table ("Table"), followed by a space, and then by an Arabic numeral (e.g., Table 1)
  • Claims shall be preceded by a sign indicating that the claim is a claim ("Claim"), followed by a space, and then by an Arabic numeral (e.g., Claim 1).
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Archived updates for Monday, April 21, 2008

Temporal Relationship to Amendment Does Not Make Equivalent Unforseeable

In Honeywell International Inc. v. Hamilton Sundstrand Corp. (April 18, 2008), the Federal Circuit held that even though Sunstrand developed its equivalent after the claim amendment at issue, Honeywell did not show that the alleged equivalent was unforeseeable for purposes of falling within the Doctrine of Equivalents:

Under the doctrine of the equivalents, "a product or process that does not literally infringe upon the express terms of a patent claim may nonetheless be found to infringe if there is 'equivalence' between the elements of the accused product or process and the claimed elements of the patented invention." Warner-Jenkinson Co. v. Hilton Davis Chem. Co., 520 U.S. 17, 21 (1997) (citing Graver Tank & Mfg. Co. v. Linde Air Prods. Co., 339 U.S. 605, 609 (1950)). The doctrine of prosecution history estoppel prevents a patent owner from recapturing with the doctrine of equivalents subject matter surrendered to acquire the patent. See Festo IX, 344 F.3d at 1365 (citing Festo VIII, 535 U.S. at 741).

Because the three asserted independent claims were rewritten from dependent form and because the original independent claims were cancelled, there is a presumption of prosecution history estoppel. See Honeywell II, 370 F.3d at 1134. Nonetheless Honeywell may rebut that presumption with a showing that: (1) "the alleged equivalent would have been unforeseeable at the time of the narrowing amendment" or (2) "the rationale underlying the narrowing amendment bore no more than a tangential relation to the equivalent in question." Festo IX, 344 F.3d at 1369 (quoting Festo VIII, 535 U.S. at 741).

. . . The principle of foreseeability ties patent enforcement appropriately to patent acquisition. In making this connection, foreseeability reconciles the preeminent notice function of patent claims with the protective function of the doctrine of equivalents. Thus, foreseeability in this context ensures that the doctrine does not capture subject matter that the patent drafter could have foreseen during prosecution and included in the claims. The goal of the principle is to ensure that the claims continue to define patent scope in all foreseeable circumstances, while protecting patent owners against insubstantial variations from a claimed element in unforeseeable circumstances. The
foreseeability principle thus relegates the doctrine of equivalents to its appropriate exceptional place in patent enforcement.

This court must examine, on the basis of this record, whether the use of IGV position to detect high flow and low flow was later-developed technology and thus unforeseeable at the time of the amendments during the prosecution process. The timing of Sundstrand’s product development does not settle the issue. The record shows that Sundstrand developed its equivalent between 1991 and 1995, after the relevant amendments in 1982-83. The mere temporal relationship of the equivalent to the patent acquisition and amendment process, however, does not make the equivalent unforeseeable. The record shows that Sundstrand began using IGV position to control airflow within two months of observing the double solution problem, which suggests that the IGV solution may have been known (and foreseeable) in the art. The record also shows that Sundstrand refined this way of addressing the problem over the next four years—evidence susceptible to characterization as either showing difficulty in reaching the ultimate solution or showing the natural and foreseeable application of well-known principles.

However, Honeywell contends that the district court’s determination was clearly erroneous because in the 1982-83 time frame surge control systems did not use inlet guide vane position to ascertain the existence of high or low flow situations for surge control. Honeywell is correct that the systems in the 1982-83 time period did not use inlet guide vane position for this purpose, but it was known that the control of surge was important; that systems, such as the L1011 system, had been developed for that purpose; and that inlet guide vanes were routinely used in surge control systems and affected the air flow rate. For example, U.S. Patent No. 4,164,035 ("the Glennon patent"), issued in 1979, claims a surge control system and teaches that IGV position affects airflow rate. Honeywell’s expert, Mr. Muller, also testified:

Q: In fact, going back to the 1970s, it was Honeywell’s understanding that in order to efficiently control surge, you would need to take into account inlet guide vane angle and input into your surge control
system. Correct?

A: Well, by using this information you can incrementally improve the operation of a surge controller, yes.

The record also shows no technical barrier to the use of IGV position to determine air flow, as Honeywell’s corporate representative, James Clark, admitted. He confirmed that Honeywell "could have [] solved [the double solution problem] using inlet guide vane position" in the 1970s. Foreseeability does not require that the accused infringing product or process be foreseeable, nor that any equivalent exist at the time; rather foreseeability only requires that one of ordinary skill in the art would have reasonably foreseen the proposed equivalent at the pertinent time. Festo X, 493 F.3d at 1382.

Sunstrand’s expert, Dr. Japiksi, whom the district court found to be credible, concluded that it was "known or foreseeable to a person of ordinary skill in the
art in 1982 to use IGV position to determine whether the flow was high or low."
Based on this testimony and the record evidence described above, the district
court concluded that "measuring IGV position . . . is a reasonably obvious way –
both at present and in 1982-83 – to determine whether the APU is experiencing
high flow or low flow." Honeywell 2006-1602 15 III, 2006 U.S. Dist LEXIS
57030, at *17. This court finds no clear error in the district court’s conclusion.

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Archived updates for Monday, April 07, 2008

AIPLA Model Patent Jury Instructions

The AIPLA Model Jury Instructions are "provided as general assistance for the litigation of patent issues."
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Archived updates for Thursday, April 03, 2008

TGIF for Debate Over Mandatory Patentability Searches

On Friday, March 28, 2008, the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) issued an urgent legislative alert to all U.S. members urging them to contact their two Senators to express opposition to the mandatory “applicant quality submissions” (AQSs) in patent reform bill S. 1145 that would require pre-filing patenatbility investigations. According to the IPO,
The bill requires nearly every patent applicant to (1) search the prior art and (2) submit a search report and analysis to the USPTO with its patent application. . . . Mandatory AQSs would add unjustifiable expense to the filing of many patent applications, embroil applicants in disputes over what constitutes an adequate search or analysis of the prior art, and discriminate in favor of certain applicants who would be exempt from the AQS requirement. IPO believes the case has not been made that AQSs would be cost effective for improving patent quality.
However, according to "Seeking Cost-Effective Patents," by Professor Thomas G. Field, Jr.,
Inventors should not try to save money by omitting prior art searches before filing applications. Given the difficulty and cost of marketing new products, inventors must not assume, just because a product seems to be commercially unavailable, that it is novel. True, patent examiners do searches after applications are filed, but dollar-wise inventors do not pay attorney and filing fees to have examiners tell them what they could learn much more cheaply.

Other views on the need for pre-filing searches, include

"Patent quality should start with a focus on high quality search.” –-Ruud Peters, CEO of Philips Intellectual Property and Standards

"Quality patents start with a quality search.” -- Mark Adler, Chief IP Counsel, Rohm and Haas Company

“The process of quality examination begins with the applicant. Too little or too much
information both present serious challenges to examination quality, and both abuses are created solely by applicants. These abuses must be prevented if the system is to function properly for the benefit of the public.” -- USPTO Public Advisory Committee Report for 2007


Still, "to search, or not to search" may not be the only concern driving this issue. As one commentator puts it "I have no problem as long as the rules set out what type of search would be sufficient not to trigger 1.56 problems & if the IDS limiting rules were not in progress at the same time. But as it is, this rule is a bad idea." According to IPO Daily News on April 2, 2008, the devil is in the details of defining an adequate scope and field for any such required patentability searches:
While IPO supports meaningful inequitable conduct reform, such reform would not eliminate all of IPO's concerns over AQSs. AQSs would result in expensive litigation over inequitable conduct charges and charges of inadequate searches and analyses. The expense and risks of AQSs could deter filing of tens or hundreds of thousands of patent applications.
And that's a bad thing asks the current Administration? In what appears to be a counterattack on the IPO, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez sent a letter to members of the U.S. Senate on April 3, 2008 sharing the Administration’s thoughts on the Applicant Quality Submissions provision which it "beleives will prove to be the strongest step toward improved patent quality." According to yesterday's letter,

The Administration strongly supports the AQS provision in the bill in its current form and believes that enactment will prove to be the strongest step toward improved patent quality. By reducing the number of poor quality and imprecise applications, applicant quality standards will result in dramatic reductions in patent pendency and backlog, as well as reduce the likelihood of excessive litigation. The current misalignment of information incentives slows and degrades the patenting process. . . .

The Administration also recognizes and supports statutory changes to the doctrine of inequitable conduct to support this provision. The inequitable conduct standard hould more clearly target actual fraud affecting the examination process and preserve judicial discretion in application of appropriate sanctions. However, the Administration strongly opposes any statutory changes to the doctrine of inequitable conduct in the absence of a strong provision requiring Applicant Quality Submissions. Applicant quality standards and inequitable conduct reform are inextricably linked. Diminishing the penalties for misrepresenting facts before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) without also increasing the robustness of the process for eliciting quality information from applicants may lead to poorer quality pplications, in turn increasing the difficulty of conducting accurate examinations. Inequitable conduct reform alone, without Applicant Quality Submissions, would merely invite fraud on the patent system.

In any event, it appears that the USPTO won't have the last word on whether to require pre-filing patent searches. As noted by Judge Cacheris in permanently enjoining the United States Patent and Trademark Office from enacting the “Changes to Practice for Continued Examination Filings, Patent Applications Containing Patentably Indistinct Claims, and Examination of Claims in Patent Applications,” 72 Fed. Reg. 46,716-843 (Aug. 21, 2007)(to be codified at 37 C.F.R. pt. 1)(the “Final Rules”) under his decision in Tafas v. Dudas:

Sections 102 and 103 provide that “[a] person shall be entitled to a patent unless” the claimed invention lacks novelty or is obvious in view of the prior art, 35 U.S.C. §§ 102 and 103, and Section 131 states that the USPTO “shall cause an examination to be made of the application,” id. §131. The Federal Circuit has read these provisions as placing the burden of examination and the burden of proof to make a prima facie case of unpatentability on the USPTO. In re Warner, 379 F.2d 1011, 1016 (C.C.P.A. 1967). It is only after the USPTO makes a demonstration of unpatentability that the burden shifts to the applicant to rebut that showing. In re Oetiker, 977 F.2d 1443, 1445 (Fed. Cir. 1992)(“[T]he examiner bears the initial burden, on review of the prior art or on any other ground, of presenting a prima facie case of unpatentability. If that burden is met, the burden of coming forward with evidence or argument shifts to the applicant.”). Thus, by requiring applicants like GSK and Tafas to perform prior art searches and by shifting the examination burden away from the USPTO, the ESD requirement manifestly changes existing law and alters applicants’ rights under Sections 102, 103, and 131. Applicants must now undertake new substantive responsibilities if they wish to file more than five independent or twenty-five total claims, which represents a significant departure from Section 112's rule of unlimited – though not unduly multiple – claims. For these reasons, the Court finds that Final Rules 75 and 265 are substantive rules. . . .

Because the USPTO’s rulemaking authority under 35 U.S.C. § 2(b)(2) does not extend to substantive rules, and because the Final Rules are substantive innature, the Court finds that the Final Rules are void as “otherwise not in accordance with law” and “in excess of statutory jurisdiction [and] authority.” 5 U.S.C. § 706(2).


Regardless of your position in the debate, the award for best-patent-sound-bite-of-the-week should go to U.S. Patent Office Commissioner Jon Dudas who, during a press conference on April 4, 2008, succinctly pointed out that the current 54% allowance rate for all patent applications means that "The current system is now heavily subsidized by successful applicants."

It's too bad that we don't have some hard data that linking successful patent applicants to their pre-filing searches. Still, it makes sense to me, if for no other reason than to establish minimum searching standards for weeding out applicants that are so unlikely to be successful that they should not otherwise be allowed to clog the patent system with an application.

Thank Goodness It's Friday (and I'm searching for a quality weekend),

--Bill Heinze
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Archived updates for Wednesday, April 02, 2008

UK-IPO Reports on Artist's Resale Royalties

The UK Intellectual Property Office (UK-IPO) has published the report it commissioned into the impact on Artist’s Resale Rights on the UK art market. This report examines in detail both the costs and benefits of the right for both the UK art market and its artists.

The right was introduced in 2006, as the result of a European Directive. At the time there were concerns the new right would increase costs for the art industry. The report indicates that the right has not had a significant impact on the art trade but there may be some difficulties with the way the system is running. Among the major findings:
  • About £2.5 million of Artist Resale Rights is being collected annually, of which around £1.5 million accrues to British artists.
  • Most of these payments are quite small, and the median payment to artists based on auction house data is £256. Auction house data indicate that during the period since its introduction, 80% of all ARR payments should have gone to the top 100 artists.
  • The cost of administering ARR entailed a set-up cost in the region of £1 million and recurrent administration costs of £50,000 per year.
  • There is no evidence that ARR has diverted business away from the UK, where the size of the art market has grown as fast, if not faster, than the art market in jurisdictions where ARR is not currently payable.
  • There is no evidence that ARR has reduced prices, as prices have appreciated substantially for art eligible for ARR, and faster than in markets where ARR is not currently payable.
  • The extension of ARR in 2012 would on current figures increase the size of ARR payments about fourfold. Art market professionals expressed the view in the strongest terms that the extension will significantly damage the UK market by diverting trade elsewhere.
  • While the administrative burden of ARR does not seem to have been excessive for most businesses, there have been a number of problems associated with difficulties in establishing the nationality of artists and the requirement to calculate ARR liabilities in euros. A significant minority of art market professionals, including the major auction houses, deem the administration of ARR to be intrusive and burdensome.
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Archived updates for Tuesday, April 01, 2008

USPTO Enjoined from Implementing Proposed Rules on Claims, Continuing and Related Applications, and Final Action Practice

In Tafas v. Dudas (April 1, 2008), the United States Patent and Trademark Office was permanently enjoined from from enacting its proposed “Changes to Practice for Continued Examination Filings, Patent Applications Containing Patentably Indistinct Claims, and Examination of Claims in Patent Applications,” 72 Fed. Reg. 46,716-843 (Aug. 21, 2007; the “Final Rules”). According to Judge Cacheris,

GSK, Tafas, and the USPTO make numerous arguments for summary judgment in their favor. After thorough examination of the parties’ briefs, the arguments of roughly two dozen amici curiae, and the extensive administrative record, the Court finds that the Final Rules are substantive in nature and exceed the scope of the USPTO’s rulemaking authority under 35 U.S.C. §2(b)(2). Consequently, the Court will grant summary judgment to GSK and Tafas and void the Final Rules as “otherwise not inaccordance with law” and “in excess of statutory jurisdiction[and] authority.” 5 U.S.C. § 706(2). In addition, because the Court believes that one who judges least judges best, it will notreach the other issues raised by the parties, resting instead onthe determination of a single dispositive issue.

. . . Despite the USPTO’s arguments, the Court finds that the Final Rules are neither procedural rules nor rules relating to application processing that have substantive collateral consequences, but substantiver ules that change existing law and alter the rights of applicants such as GSK and Tafas under the Patent Act. The 2+1 Rule and the5/25 Rule, which limit continuing applications, RCEs, and claims, and the ESD requirement, which shifts the examination burden onto applicants, constitute a drastic departure from the terms of the Patent Act as they are presently understood. By so departing, the Final Rules effect changes in GSK’s and Tafas’s existing rights and obligations. The Court will now explain why the provisions of the Patent Act compel this conclusion.

. . . Because the USPTO’s rulemaking authority under 35 U.S.C. § 2(b)(2) does not extend to substantive rules, and because [all of] the Final Rules are substantive in
nature, the Court finds that the Final Rules are void as “otherwise not
in accordance with law” and “in excess of statutory jurisdiction [and]
authority.” 5 U.S.C. § 706(2).

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Compound Claim Insufficient to Support SPC for Combination Product

In "Can A + B = SPC?," Rob Burrows of Bristows notes that while a pharmaceutical patent containing broad claims may be desirable for the prevention of infringement by competing products, the patent might not contain the support necessary for a European Supplementary Protection Certificate (SPC) in respect of a particular combination product that falls within the claims and has proved to be successful commercially.

Supplementary protection certificates were introduced in European Union member countries to compensate for the long time needed to obtain regulatory approval of these products (i.e. authorization to put these products on the market). They come into force after the corresponding patent expires for a term of up to 5 years. However, the market exclusivity cannot however exceed 15 years. There is no unitary European supplementary protection certificate, but national ones only.

According to Burrows,

In [in Re Gilead Sciences, Inc.] an application was made for an SPC in respect of EP (UK) 0 915 894 and the combination of two antiretroviral compounds, namely tenofovir disoproxil and emtricitabine. Importantly, the second of these compounds was not mentioned anywhere in the '894 patent and the applicant therefore relied on claim 27, which covered "[tenofovir disoproxil] together with a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier and optionally other therapeutic ingredients" in support of its application. In deciding whether to grant the SPC, the question arose as to whether the combination product in question was "protected" by a basic patent in force, as is required by Article 3(a) of Council Regulation 1768/92.

Following the decision in Takeda Chemical Industries Ltd's SPC Applications (No.3) [2004] RPC 3, the Hearing Officer confirmed that what amounts to an infringement of the basic patent does not equate to what is protected by the basic patent. After all, although a claim to A will be infringed by a composition comprising the combination A + B, it would be a "sleight-of-hand" to say that the combination is protected by such a claim. What is protected is the A element of the combination. . . .

In this case the Hearing Officer held that the wording of claim 27 of the '894 patent, together with the priority date knowledge that antiretroviral compounds could be used in combination, was not enough to conclude that the '894 patent protected the combination of tenofovir disoproxil and emtricitabine. Accordingly, the SPC application was refused. The Hearing Officer went on to say that, in order for the combination product to be protected by a basic patent (and eligible for an SPC), the support for the product in the basic patent should "at least provide a clear pointer for the skilled reader in the right direction", although "it need not amount to the level of support that would be required to allow addition of a claim to the particular combination."


Find UK supplementary protection certificates by SPC or Patent number

UK supplementary protection certificate application guide
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WIPO Adopts Transitional Budget, Reduces Filing Fees, and Starts Race for New Leadership

On March 31, 2008, WIPO Member States finally adopted a 2008/09 Program and Budget. According to the press relase,
The agreement included a decision to reduce the international filing fee under the PCT by 5% (this means that the international filing fee will fall from 1,400 SFr to 1,330 SFr) and to increase the reduction from 75% to 90% for countries whose per capita national income is below US$3,000, as well as to Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Barbados, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago and the United Arab Emirates. This fee reduction will be effective from 1 July 2008.
But will the reduction in international filing fees for the poorest countries make any difference in international filing statistics? And what's up with Singapore? Like the IPKat, I thought that Singapore was doing too well for itself to accept that kind of ridicule. Are negotiated discounts now part of the WIPO budgetary process?

According to William New writing for Intellectual Property Watch,

The US ambassador said in his plenary meeting statement that the US agreed to the budget after Idris informed senior staff that he would leave significant restructuring and promotions to WIPO’s senior management team, which has decided to defer such actions to the incoming director general. This could mean a significant delay in filling the 13 vacant director-level posts in WIPO, sources said. Some developed countries feared Idris would fill the posts before departing, making it potentially troublesome
for the next director general, they said.

The United States also said the budget is transitional and will need to be revised at the next General Assemblies in six months to reflect agreed recommendations related to the WIPO Development Agenda, the PCT fee reduction, and decisions relating to staffing.

The resumed meeting served as a showcase for campaigners to be the next WIPO director general. Materials touting candidates’ credentials were distributed outside the room of the General Assembly, and candidates were on hand to chat and discuss the finer points of WIPO policy and management.


Intellectual Property Watch then posed five questions on IP policy to the 15 candidates to be the next director general of the World Intellectual Property Organization. Read their answers here.
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USPTO-APO Patent Prosecution Highway Pilot Program

Thanks to Bill Bennett of Pizzeys in Australia for pointing out that the USPTO has signed another Pilot Patent Prosecution Highway Program with the Australian Patent Office. According to Bill,


Like the PPH Programs already in place between the USPTO and the JPO, UKIPO,
CIPO & KIPO, this pilot PPH Program will allow an applicant with claims which have been indicated allowable in the US to fast-track the prosecution of corresponding claims in Australia. This new mechanism will be attractive to US clients who are (a) happy with the scope of protection indicated allowable in the USPTO, and (b) keen to fast-track prosecution of corresponding claims in the APO.
Under the PPH, an applicant receiving a report from either the USPTO or IP Australia with at least one patentable claim in an application may request that the other office accelerate the examination of the corresponding application. The applicant benefits from the patent offices using the work previously conducted by the other office, by obtaining corresponding patents faster and more efficiently.

Full requirements for participation in the trial program can be found at www.ipaustralia.gov.au/patents/international/pph_uspto.shtml

For more information, click here to read the media release
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