Late 2010 and early 2011 have brought three welcome developments to the Patent Prosecution highway (PPH) programme in Canada, each including advantages for applicants from outside and inside Canada.
The developments include new pilot agreements with three additional countries, the conversion of the agreement with the USPTO from a fixedterm pilot project to an indeterminate agreement, and the commencement of an internal PCT-PPH pilot project.
Since the successful introduction of the original pilot agreement with the USPTO in January 28, 2008, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has concluded pilot agreements with the offices of Denmark, Japan and Korea, extending to September 30, 2011, and with the offices of Finland, Germany and Spain, extending to September 30, 2012.
It is expected that unless any unforeseen problems arise, each agreement will be extended or made indefinite at the applicable dates. Discussions continue between CIPO and the offices of other countries for further expansion.