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Convenient patent procedure between Taiwan, U.S. to take effect in Sept.

Taipei, Aug. 29, 2011 (CENS) -- The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) Agreement signed between Taiwan and the United States will take effect on September 1, offering Taiwan's patent applicants a time-efficient scrutiny procedure.

PPH is a set of initiatives for providing accelerated patent prosecution procedures by sharing information among patent offices of the agreement signatories as well as reducing examination workload and improving examination quality of the offices.

Under the PPH , an applicant receiving a ruling from either the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) or the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that at least one claim in an application is patentable may request that the other office fast track the examination of corresponding claims in corresponding applications. The PPH will leverage fast-track patent examination procedures already available in both offices to allow applicants in both economies to obtain corresponding patents faster and more efficiently.

According to TIPO officials, the agreement will help reduce the office's workload as its scant workforce has kept many applicants on waiting line for at least three years. In the U.S., the review usually takes around one year, allowing TIPO to quickly review applications of U.S. patent holders.

However, either office reserves the right to disapprove the other's approval and the applicants receiving approval from one office are required to send the identical patent coverage or scaled-down coverage to the other for examination.

TIPO Director General M.H. Wang pointed out that PPH will mostly benefit Taiwan's high-tech manufacturers including chipmakers and information-communications technology manufacturers. She noted that in 2009 the office introduced Taiwan's version of HPP, called Accelerated Examination Program (AEP), which allows applicants to request accelerated examination procedure with TIPO as long as they offer necessary documents including a copy of the claims of the patent issued by a foreign patent authority, or a copy of the notice of allowance from a foreign patent authority and the to-be-granted claims. However, PPH, she said, is more stringent and efficient than AEP.

Applications on PPH procedure are estimated to take less than 80 days, compared with around 82 days for applications on AEP procedure.

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Author:Liu, Ken
Publication:The Taiwan Economic News
Geographic Code:9TAIW
Date:Aug 30, 2011
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