Earlier this year, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) launched a worksharing agreement. The worksharing agreement between the two Offices aimed to streamline the process for obtaining a Mexican patent. Specifically, the Agreement allows the IMPI to use the results of the USPTO’s search and examination process in Mexico. Allowing the IMPI to leverage the USPTO’s examination results streamlines the examination process in Mexico.
The Parallel Patent Grant Initiative
Since signing the Agreement, the USPTO and IMPI officially announced the implementation of a Parallel Patent Grant (PPG) initiative. The PPG is a direct result of the Agreement signed by the two Offices earlier this year. For an application to be eligible, both the Mexican and corresponding U.S. applications must share the same priority date.
Additionally, USPTO released a statement stating that “[t]he USPTO and IMPI have a long history of worksharing cooperation. These include a more traditional form of bilateral cooperation, the Patent Prosecution Highway, which has been in effect since 2011.” However, unlike the Patent Prosecution Highway, only the USPTO examination is relied upon for the PPG. Essentially, the PPG is a one-way program with the IMPI and the USPTO does not rely on the IMPI for US examination.
As the world continues to become more interconnected, Agreements like the PPG are critical to fostering innovation. For inventors and companies having a strong presence in Mexico, the PPG is another tool in their belt for quickly expanding intellectual property protection abroad. Having done the hard work already to receive a patent in the US, the PPG program should be strongly considered.
If you are a holder of a granted U.S. patent, the PPG makes it easier and faster for you to obtain a corresponding Mexican patent on your invention.
The PPG requires that the entity have a granted U.S. Patent from the USPTO. Once granted, the applicant must submit a request with the IMPI.