USPTO Extends Combined Patent Search Pilot Program with Japanese Patent Office and Korean Intellectual Property Office

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is extending the Expanded Collaborative Search Pilot (CSP) program in partnership with the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) for an additional two years through October 31, 2024.

Additionally, the partnering patent offices have also collaborated on a new petition option for the Expanded CSP program. Under the extended pilot program, Applicants may file a combined petition in either the USPTO or one of the partner IP offices rather than separate petitions in each office. This new petition option has several improvements, including a user-friendly layout, multilingual text, and a streamlined process for participation. The combined petition option and the related process took effect on January 18, 2023.

The USPTO collaboration with its partner IP offices to enhance the petition process, addresses concerns raised by Applicants. The program aims to improve the examination process and provide Applicants with more comprehensive prior art results. The new combined petition is a significant improvement over the previous option, which required Applicants to file separate petitions in each of the partner IP offices. However, the original petition option remains available for those who prefer it.

The expanded CSP program provides a unique opportunity for applicants who cross-file with the USPTO and the JPO or KIPO to receive search results from each partner IP office early in the examination process.

The combined search program would provide Applicants with a streamlined and more efficient patent examination by centralizing examination procedures across multiple patent offices. Another benefit of the program is that it would eliminate the need to conduct separate searches for each application. Ultimately, Applicants that utilize this program may speed up the examination process and ensure that Applicants receive the most comprehensive prior art results possible. However, the USPTO will grant no more than 400 requests per year per partner office during the duration of the pilot.

In conclusion, the USPTO’s extended Expanded Collaborative Search Pilot (CSP) program is a valuable resource for patent Applicants considering filing in Asia. The new combined petition option, enhanced process, and additional two years of the program provide Applicants with a more comprehensive examination and improved prior art results. This is a positive development for Applicants and inventors looking to protect their inventions and intellectual property both domestically and abroad.

John DeStefano
Technical Advisor

John DeStefano, is a patent and technology technical advisor at Founders Legal. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology (Rolla) and is pursuing a J.D. at Franklin Pierce School of Law with a focus on Intellectual Property.