Since 2006, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has participated in the Patent Prosecution Highway Pilot Program (the PPH Program). Generally, the program is designed to accelerate examination of a given patent application as a result of examination of a corresponding application at another PPH-participating patent office having reached a positive ruling more quickly. If an application is eligible for and accepted into the PPH Program, the USPTO expedites processing of the application. Examiners also have the benefit of drawing from another examiner’s assessment of corresponding claims. Generally, existing data on the PPH Program has indicated that it is associated with increased allowance prospects and decreased examination times relative to non-PPH applications. However, the vast majority of this data is years old (e.g., from 2014). This article will briefly summarize the eligibility requirements for the program and present new data showing favorable allowance and pendency times. However, it will end with a warning: request entry to the PPH program in the United States at your own risk.
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