The Intellectual Property Office has launched a new pilot scheme which is aimed at relaxing the requirements for patent applications submitted through the Patent Protection Highway.
The Government has increased the flexibility of the Patent Protection Highway (PPH) in order to decrease application times and reduce costs. In the past, patent applications have only been eligible to use PPH if they met requirements relating to the order in which they were filed and the priority which they claimed.
The new scheme is aimed at providing support for UK businesses operating in the US and Japan, as the relaxation of the priority requirements will provide more opportunities for businesses to take advantage of better international patent protection.
Minister for intellectual property Baroness Wilcox said: “The Patent Prosecution Highway can speed up the often lengthy process of gaining a patent and help minimise the associated costs to the applicant. It also helps to reduce patent backlogs by minimising the duplication of work carried out by offices.”
The ‘Mottainai’ pilot programme will involve the Intellectual Property Office’s PPH agreements with the Japanese Patent Office and the US Patents and Trade Marks Office. The pilot will run for an initial one year period until July 14, 2012.
‘Mottainai’ is a Japanese term meaning ‘a sense of regret concerning waste when the intrinsic value of an object or resource is not properly utilised.’