Pilot Program started on July 28, 2008!
Trilateral Patent Offices of the U.S., Japan, and Europe started a
limited "Triway" worksharing pilot program that is limited
to 100 applications of diverse technologies, with the USPTO as the
Office of First Filing.
is the framework in which the Office of Second Filing and the Office
of Third Filing utilize the search results of the Office of First
Filing, so that each Trilateral Office can eliminate the duplication
of work for search and examination, and in which applicants receive
the search (and examination) results from each Office within a certain
short time period so that they can proceed (ex. amend the claims)
under the consideration of all the Trilateral Offices' results at
the same time. The pilot program is implemented in order to test the
effect of this framework.
The Triway pilot program is limited to 100 applications of diverse
technologies. In order to ensure that the 100 applications are from
diverse technologies, the USPTO accepts 15 requests for participation
in the program for U.S. applications assigned to each Technology center.
- A complete application must be filed at the USPTO as the Office
of First Filing;
- A corresponding complete application claiming priority to the
U.S. application must be filed at the EPO and the JPO as the Office
of Second Filing and the Office of Third Filing;
- The U.S., EP, and JP applications must be limited to a single
invention and the claims of the 3 applications must sufficiently
- Applicant must file a request for participation in the Triway
Pilot Program and a petition to make the U.S. application special
under the Triway Pilot Program.
The Tirway Pilot Program will end on July 28, 2009 (1 year after the
commencement) or upon the acceptance of 100 requests submitted to
the USPTO as the Office of First Filing, whichever occurs first.
- A volunteer applicant file an application at the USPTO as the
Office of filing and request for participation in the Triway Pilot
Program, and then file a corresponding application claiming priority
to the U.S. application at the EPO and the JPO within 4 months
from the filing of the U.S. application.
- The USPTO will perform a search for the U.S. application and
fax a copy of the search report to the applicant within 6 months
after the filing of the U.S. application.
- After receiving the USPTO search report, the applicant promptly
file a copy of the USPTO search report in the corresponding EP
application and request participation in the Triway Pilot Program
in the EPO.
- The EPO will conduct its Extended European Search Report (EESR)
process and consider the art cited in the USPTO search report.
The EPO then will send a copy of the EESR to the applicant.
- Then the applicant files a copy of the EESR at the USPTO in
the corresponding U.S. application, and lists the art cited in
- The applicant files a request for accelerated examination at
the JPO, stating participation in the Triway Pilot Program at
the JPO, and providing copies of the USPTO search report and the
- The JPO will perform a search and examination for the corresponding
JP application, considering the art cited in the USPTO search
report and the EESR, and will issue an office action to the applicant
for the corresponding JP application.
- Then, the applicant files a copy of the JP office action at
the EPO and the USPTO.
- At this stage, each of the corresponding applications will contain
the search results from all three Offices, plus an examination
result from the JPO. The U.S. application will be examined as
a special case by the U.S. examiner and the U.S. examiner will
consider the search results of all three Offices in the examination
of the U.S. application.