Global Pilot

Death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

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Death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

The staff at Franks & Co were saddened to learn of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Our thoughts are with His Majesty King Charles III and the rest of the Royal Family.

The United Kingdom is now officially in a period of mourning until after the Queen’s state funeral which is to be held on Monday 19 September. Normal day-to-day business will continue throughout this period.

The UK government has declared the day of the funeral to be a national Bank Holiday, so the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office will be closed on Monday 19 September.

The United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office’s official guidance on bank holidays is given below:

The office is deemed to be closed on weekends, Good Friday, Christmas Day and all England and Wales bank holidays for all types of business, except for the filing of new applications not claiming priority. If documents are filed for these types of business at times when the office is deemed to be closed, they will receive an official filing date of the next working day.

Any official time period which expires on a weekend or any other day on which the office is closed is extended to the next working day.

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A further extension to the existing Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) Pilot has just been launched.

The existing patent prosecution highway is a set of bilateral agreements between individual pairs of national and regional patent offices, whereby if a patent is granted by one office, the other office in the bilateral agreement will allow accelerated examination of the corresponding patent in that office, based on the claims as granted.

For example, where a UK patent is granted, then applicants can request accelerated prosecution in, for example, the US patent office, based on the claims granted by the UK intellectual Property Office under the UK – US bilateral Patent prosecution agreement.  

The offices involved in the Global Pilot are the national patent offices of Canada, Australia, Finland, Denmark, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, USA and the Nordic Patent Institute.

The new extension to the Pilot programme will allow patent applicants to continue to request accelerated examination at any of the offices involved in the pilot if their claims have been found to be acceptable by any of the other offices involved in the pilot.

This is an improvement, since previously the system worked by matching pairs of offices.

There have been previous phases of pilot programme for the PPH, which have already been extended in the past. Initially the system was proposed only as a pilot programme, rather than a permanent system. Significant changes in patent procedures which reduce duplication of work have historically been resisted by the patent professions and other vested interests in each country.

However, by keeping extending the pilots, the Patent Prosecution Highway could to become a permanent feature of co-operation between individual patent offices, which reduces the workload within individual patent offices, and reduces duplication of effort in examining patents. 

Vanda Pichova, MSc.

European Patent Attorney


Article Published May 19, 2014