Elimination of Publication Requirement in the Collaborative Search Pilot Program Between the Japan Patent Office and the United States Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) implemented a Collaborative Search Pilot Program with the Japan Patent Office (JPO) on August 1, 2015, to study whether the exchange of search results between offices for corresponding counterpart applications improves patent quality and facilitates the examination of patent applications in both offices. Based upon feedback from the public, the USPTO is modifying the Collaborative Search Pilot Program between JPO and USPTO (JPO-CSP) by removing the requirement that the applications must be published in order to participate in the pilot program. The JPO and USPTO have determined that publication of the applications is unnecessary for participation in the pilot program and that unpublished applications can participate in the pilot program as long as applicants grant access to the unpublished application and provide a translated copy of the currently pending claims from the corresponding counterpart application(s). Accordingly, publication of an application will no longer be a prerequisite for participation in the JPO-CSP as of the effective date of this notice. Instead, if unpublished, applicant must provide an authorization of access to the unpublished application and submit a translation of the currently pending claims from the corresponding counterpart application(s). These modifications should permit more applications to qualify for the program, supporting the program's study of the efficacy of exchanging search results between corresponding counterpart applications to improve patent quality and facilitate examination.