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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s announced pilot program with the Intellectual Property Office of Australia continues the USPTO’s rollout of cooperative programs with foreign patent offices designed to speed applications filed in both countries. The USPTO and IP Australia plan to begin their one-year Patent Prosecution Highway pilot this month. When one of the agencies rules on at least one claim in an application, the applicant can ask the other agency to fast-track examination of the same claims. “This pilot represents a significant step in worksharing on a global scale and extends the growing Patent Prosecution Highway network, which will streamline the global patent system,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and the USPTO’s director Jon Dudas. In January, a USPTO pilot with the Japan Patent Office became a full-time program. The agency also announced pilot programs with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office and the Korean Intellectual Property Office in January.

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