A new two-year pilot scheme, launched today, will provide a boost for growth by helping businesses speed up the processing of patent applications in the UK and Germany.
The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) allows applicants who have been successful in obtaining a patent from either the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) or the German Patent and Trademark Office to request accelerated examination of a corresponding patent application filed in the other country.
Minister for Intellectual Property Baroness Wilcox said: "Speeding up the international patent process means British businesses wishing to expand abroad can do so more quickly and cheaply. The Patent Prosecution Highway with Germany's Patent and Trademark Office adds an important partner to the existing schemes the UK IPO already has with a number of other countries. The agreement will provide a more efficient and affordable system for British and German businesses."
The UK-Germany PPH pilot programme was launched on 1 March 2012 and will run for an initial period of one year, ending on 1 March 2013.