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12 March 2012
An agreement on the Patent Prosecution Highway has been reached between the Norwegian Industrial Property Office and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The agreement entered into force on November 1 2011.
The agreement provides applicants with the opportunity to request accelerated patent prosecution of a patent application at the Norwegian Industrial Property Office on the basis of claims found patentable by the USPTO.
Likewise, applicants may request accelerated patent prosecution of a patent application at the USPTO on the basis of claims found patentable by the Norwegian Industrial Property Office.
The condition for requesting accelerated patent prosecution is that at least one claim have been found to be patentable.
There is no official fee, but a request for the Patent Prosecution Highway must be specified by the applicant.
The examination of an accelerated patent application is conducted according to the normal rules and regulations, and there is no automatic grant of claims found patentable by either of the authorities. An independent examination of the claims is conducted. The strict Norwegian practice within technical areas (eg, biotechnology) still applies. Other exceptions from patentability within the Norwegian Patents Act (eg, computer programs and business methods) still apply.
If accelerated examination is requested for an invention not considered patentable in Norway, the request will be denied.
The benefits of the Patent Prosecution Highway include shorter prosecution times and a reduction in costs for applicants.
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