The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) speeds up the examination process for corresponding applications filed in participating patent offices. Under PPH, participating patent offices have agreed that when an applicant receives a final ruling from a first patent office that at least one claim is allowed, the applicant may request fast track examination of corresponding claim(s) in a corresponding patent application that is pending in a second patent office. PPH leverages fast-track examination procedures already in place among participating patent offices to allow applicants to reach final disposition of a patent application more quickly and efficiently than standard examination processing.
The USPTO participates in the Global PPH and IP5 PPH pilot programs, and also has PPH agreements with several intellectual property offices that are not yet included in the Global PPH. See www.uspto.gov/patents/init_events/pph/index.jsp for details and forms to request participation in, and to petition to make an application special under, the PPH program.