According to a USPTO press release, the intellectual property offices of China (SIPO) and USA (USPTO) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 19 May 2010, which includes establishing a bilateral Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) agreement between the two offices.
The PPH agreement will be SIPO’s first, thus driving China onto the Patent Prosecution Highway and opening up for the SIPO and the USPTO taking advantage of each other’s examination results to achieve a faster prosecution of patent applications.
Further new PPH-agreements
Furthermore, four new PPH-agreements have been established in 2010 so far, namely between Finland (NBPR) and South Korea (KIPO), NBPR and Hungary (HPO), Germany (DPMA) and KIPO (to take effect on 1 July 2010) and, most notably, between the EPO and Japan (JPO).
Thus, the complete overview of existing and working PPH agreements at the time of writing can be seen on the graphic below, courtesy of the PPH web-page compiled by the Japanese Patent Office, JPO:
Troels Peter Rørdam, Associate Patent Attorney