Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office Teresa Rea and China's State Intellectual Property Office Commissioner Tian Lipu have signed a joint statement of intent regarding several bilateral intellectual property initiatives.
Beginning in December, the USPTO and SIPO will launch two new Patent Prosecution Highway pilot programs that will apply to patent applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty and the Paris Convention. The deal marks a crucial display of cooperation from two of the world's leading IP authorities.
"The agreement comes at a very opportune time as China and the United States together make up a significant global market share for patent stakeholders," noted USPTO Under Secretary David Kappos. "PPH will promote high-quality patents and expedite processing of patent applications in both offices by avoiding duplicative work and will provide greater cost savings to patent applicants."
Kappos added that the deal will be instrumental in spurring further innovation, job creation and economic growth for each country.
Although officials are optimistic about the program's potential impact, administrators will gauge applicant interest and several performance metrics throughout the one-year trial period before deciding to renew the initiative by mutual accord.