China-US PPH Pilot Program to Start on 1 December

According to a memorandum of understanding entered into between the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) of China and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the two patent offices will launch a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program on 1 December 2011. 
Under the bilateral agreement, an applicant may request for accelerated examination of a patent application with one office based on the work results of a relevant application with the other office.
The program will last for a duration of one year and expire on 30 November 2012, subject to extension if more time is needed to assess the feasibility of the PPH scheme. In case the filing for PPH exceeds a manageable level, the pilot program may terminate with notice in advance.
SIPO also signed PPH pilot programs with patent offices of Korea and Japan recently, with a view to improve prosecution efficiency, reduce examination workload and enhance patent quality. Relevant news are available via the following links: