Visit of David Kappos, Under Secretary of Commerce, Director of the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office and Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Patent Prosecution Highway Program

Bilateral negotiations took place on April 5, 2012 in the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office (HIPO) between David Kappos, Under Secretary of Commerce, Director of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and Dr. Miklós Bendzsel, President of the HIPO.

The Heads of Offices informed each other of the latest national developments in the field of intellectual property protection, such as the America Invents Act in the US or the operation of the National Board against Counterfeiting in Hungary. They also exchanged their views on current international developments, such as the cooperation in the World Intellectual Property Organization and the establishment of the Danube Patent Institute. The parties also reviewed their cooperation, and evaluated future possibilities in view of the success of the conference on Intellectual Property and Innovation co-organized by the two offices and held in Budapest on April 3-4.

In the afternoon, after a stakeholder forum covering the Patent Prosecution Highway, patenting in the U. S. and the latest developments concerning the America Invents Act, Under Secretary of Commerce David Kappos and President Dr. Miklós Bendzsel signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the permanent application of Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) program.

With the signing of this Memorandum of Understanding, Hungary has joined the PPH program after a successful pilot PPH program that started on July 1, 2010. This was originally set to last for a period of one year. As the first signs of applicants' interest were beginning to appear at the end of this period, the two offices have agreed to extend their pilot.

The substance of the PPH is that applicants may obtain patents faster and more effectively as it enables either office to utilize the work done earlier by the other office, thus avoiding duplication of work. By virtue of the PPH agreements, if at least one claim has been determined patentable in an applicant's application by a national office, the applicant may request that the other national office fast track the examination of corresponding claims in corresponding applications.

The new permanent PPH program also takes into account the newest ideas, such as the USPTO's initiative on "the PPH 2.0", or the JPO's idea on the "Mottainai PPH". The HIPO and the USPTO will continue to examine and assess the applicants' demands with a view to improving the PPH procedure.

It was Under Secretary of Commerce David Kappos who had initiated the series of events that took place in Budapest this week. Last year, when Mr. Kappos took part as a distinguished speaker in the IPR conference organized by the HIPO during the Hungarian EU Presidency, he suggested holding a conference and a user day in Budapest. President Dr. Bendzsel wholeheartedly supported this excellent idea and then the two Offices worked together with the US Embassy and the American Chamber of Commerce in Hungary to organize these events.

15 March 2012