Collaborative Search Pilot Program (CSP)

The Expanded CSP Program is Based on the Success of Previous Versions of CSP

For applicants pursuing U.S. patent applications with corresponding counterpart applications in Japan and/or Korea, an expanded version of CSP is available for expedited examination and speedier allowance, if applicable.  CSP, which runs from November 1, 2017, through October 31, 2018, expands on previous programs between the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) and also between the USPTO and the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO).  Due to the success of previous versions of CSP, the USPTO has decided to expand on these efforts for streamlining patent applications filed across multiple participating countries.

Purpose of CSP

A primary reason for the program is the belief that more information will be shared between the participating offices including, but not limited to, prior art search results and draft office actions.  Not only does this allow for a more comprehensive review of patent applications, but applications filed as part of CSP are also pushed to the front of the queue, allowing for faster receipt of first actions and quicker allowances overall.  Per the UPSTO, the average time frame for allowance is 8-9 months[1].

Eligibility to Participate in CSP

To participate in CSP, which is free, the following requirements must be met:

  1. The application must be a non-reissue, non-provisional utility application or an international application that has entered the national stage in compliance with 35 U.S.C. § 371, with an effective filing date no earlier than March 16, 2013.  (Plant applications are also eligible, but only between the USPTO and KIPO.)
  2. A completed form PTO/SB/437 must be electronically filed, with the appropriate corresponding request form also being submitted to the counterpart foreign office(s).
  3. CSP requests submitted to the U.S. and the corresponding foreign office(s) must be submitted within 15 days of one another.
  4. CSP requests must be submitted before examination of an application has begun, ideally before the application is assigned to an examiner.
  5. Applicant must include a claims correspondence table, which at a minimum must establish “substantial corresponding scope” between all independent claims present in the U.S. application and the corresponding counterpart application(s).
  6. The U.S. application must contain 3 or fewer independent claims and 20 or fewer total claims.

For applicants filing counterpart applications in the U.S. and Japan or Korea and wanting expedited examination and quicker allowance, please consult your patent practitioner to determine if CSP is right for you.

More information can be found here.
[1] CSP Video


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