The JPO reports that petition filing for the US-JP Collaborative Search Pilot Program (CSP) has been simplified. Now in the third phase, the CSP, scheduled to expire at the end of October 2022, has been extended for another two years. The US-JP CSP is available for applicants who cross-file patent applications in both jurisdictions. The JPO & USPTO expedited cross-file patent examination and petition program offers “remarkable improvements”.
Furthermore, “the offices concerned (the USPTO and the JPO) have agreed to introduce a single petition form for the Pilot. Now applicants wishing to take advantage of the benefits of this CSP can get on track by simply submitting a single form to either of the two offices.”
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The key features of the US-JP CSP are as follows:
- Improving the predictability of the information on the timing of examinations and acquisition of patent rights for applicants due to the earlier and simultaneous dispatch of initial examination results from both Offices (Applicants are not required to pay additional fee at both Offices)
- Sharing of the examiners’ opinions enables to increase the possibility for applicants to receive the same examination results from both Offices and to decrease the burden for applicants to respond to FA provided by both Offices. As a result, applicants are more likely to acquire stronger and more stable patent rights.
- Reducing the burden for applicants to submit Information Disclosure Statement (IDS) to the USPTO for the documents presented by JPO examiners in the initial examination results (Cited Documents and Prior Art documents)
- If a group of technically-related applications were filed with the JPO, the examiners of the two Offices shall send the initial examination results to an applicant in the same time period, allowing the applicant to receive the examination results of those applications during the same time period.
In 2020, The JPO described the program as such:
The JPO and the USPTO pursue Collaborative Search Pilot Program (CSP), providing speedy and timely initial examination results with no extra charge.
Under the US-JP CSP, the JPO and the USPTO examiners conduct their own prior art searches for respective patent applications filed in both countries. Then, after exchanging search results and opinions with each other, the two offices independently send their first office actions (FAs) to the applicant in a concurrent manner. Sharing the examiners’ opinions early in the examination process leads to higher possibility of the same or consistent examination results and to less time and efforts for responding to different FAs by respective offices. As a result, applicants are more likely to acquire more robust and stable patent rights.
The source content for this article is the JPO website. A comprehensive list of CSP resources is below:
- US-JP Collaborative Search Pilot Program (17 Nov. 2020)
- US-JP Collaborative Search Pilot Program
- Two-Year Extension of the Collaborative Search Pilot Program Between the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the Japan Patent Office (External Link)
- Petition Process for the US-JP Collaborative Search Pilot Program Has Been Simplified (External Link)
As reported by the JPO and the USPTO, and based upon our review of the ongoing enhancements, their statement that JPO & USPTO expedited cross-file patent examination and petition program offers “remarkable improvements” is justified.