International patent applications set to speed up

Posted on 2 Mar 2012

A new two-year pilot scheme has been launched by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to accelerate the speed of processing patent applications in the UK and Germany.

The Patent Prosecution Highway will allow applicants that have successfully obtained a patent from either the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) or the German Patent and Trademark Office to request accelerated examination of a corresponding patent application filed in the other country.

The minister for Intellectual Property Baroness Wilcox commented: “Speeding up the international patent process means British businesses wishing to expand abroad can do so more quickly and cheaply.

“The Patent Prosecution Highway with Germany’s Patent and Trademark Office adds an important partner to the existing schemes the UK IPO already has with a number of other countries. The agreement will provide a more efficient and affordable system for British and German businesses,” said Baroness Wilcox.

The UK-Germany Patent Prosecution Highway pilot will start on 1 March 2012 and will run for an initial period of one year, ending on 1 March 2013.