(LAWFUEL) – IP Australia and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have entered into an arrangement which will see IP Australia act as an international search and examination authority for certain international patent applications filed with the USPTO.
The arrangement, which comes into effect on 1 November 2008, will allow applicants from the US to choose IP Australia to undertake the initial search and examination of their patent application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). Applications that may not be covered under the arrangement are certain international applications relating to particular mechanical engineering or analogous fields of technology.
This is a significant development for IP Australia as it further endorses the quality and robustness of IP Australia’s examination processes. This arrangement follows the successful conclusion of a pilot program between IP Australia and the USPTO which focussed on search and examination of PCT applications. Currently, US applicants can choose between a range of international search and examination authorities around the world when submitting a PCT application.
IP Australia is already an international search and examination authority for 17 countries including New Zealand, Singapore, India and Malaysia.