The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently announced plans to collaborate with the Swedish Patent and Registration Office on a new pilot program designed to improve cooperation between the authorities.
The pilot program, based on the Patent Cooperation Treaty, will enable each office to make use of patent work already carried out by the other. This, according to the agencies, will help to reduce the examination workload by cutting down on redundancies and duplicates.
The USPTO claimed that the agreement will utilize international preliminary examination reports formulated within the framework of the Patent Cooperation Treaty.
Under the new pilot program, an applicant who has received a positive written opinion or preliminary report in a PCT application from the Swedish agency may request that the USPTO fast track its corresponding application in the United States.
David Kappos, under secretary of commerce for intellectual property and director of the USPTO, said the pilot program "marks a significant achievement in the growing bilateral cooperation" between the two agencies. According to Kappos, "applicants will benefit from expedited examination and higher patent quality."
Kappos' Swedish counterpart, Susanne Sivborg, also expressed optimism about the initiative. Sivborg claimed that the pilot will "provide business opportunities for companies both in Sweden and the U.S."