US and Brazil enter into Patent Prosecution Highway agreement

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and Brazil’s National Institute for Industrial Property (INPI) have agreed to establish a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program. The United States Patent Office likes PPH applications because they take significantly less time to prosecute, on average, than non-PPH applications. This is as a result of being able to re-use information, such as previous search and examination results, between and among the USPTO and partner patent offices.

PPH agreements are cooperative initiatives that streamline the patent examination process by promoting expeditious, less costly, and more effective patent protection. The USPTO and INPI plan to launch the two-year pilot program on January 11, 2016.

“This agreement strengthens the economic relationship between the United States and Brazil and further highlights the commitment both countries have made to provide a high quality and efficient intellectual property system that will make it easier for innovators of all sizes to do business in a global economy,” said Michelle Lee, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO.


Top 5 Patent Law Blog Posts of the Week

Today we continue our weekly installment highlighting the best of the patent blogosphere from the past week. If there are any patent blogs you think should be highlighted by our Top 5, please comment on this post and we’ll check them out.

1) Patently-O: Supreme Court: No Move Yet on Denying Human Gene Patents – This post discusses the Myriad gene patent case. In particular, the post provides the procedural history and current status of the case asking issuing the question of whether or not human genes are patentable.

2) Foss Patents: After Apple, Microsoft Also Files an EU Antitrust Complaint Against Motorola Mobility Over FRAND Abuse – This post outlines potential impact of the two industry leaders’ complaints against MMI with the European Commission. The post also sheds light on the new and growing phenomenon of “FRAND abuse tourism”: companies like Samsung and Motorola start litigation in places like Germany only because they see better chances of winning injunctions based on standard-essential patents than, for example, in the United States. (more…)