WORKSHARING WITH MEXICO: The Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) published guidelines for the implementation of a new worksharing initiative with the USPTO: the Accelerated Patent Grant (APG).

This gives eligible patent applicants the option of using an expedited process for obtaining a patent grant in Mexico based on a U.S. patent grant. An eligible patent applicant who has been granted a U.S. patent may request that the IMPI grant a patent on a corresponding Mexican patent application at any time during its processing, following the publication of the application in the Mexican Industrial Property Gazette.

USPTO Director Kathi Vidal and IMPI Director General Dr. José Sanchez Pérez signed a joint statement on the APG in August.

EXPEDITING SEMICONDUCTOR TECH: To encourage research, development, and innovation in semiconductor manufacturing, the USPTO has begun a Semiconductor Technology Pilot Program developed to support the CHIPS for America program. 

The pilot program is designed to accelerate improvements in the semiconductor industry by expediting examination of patent applications for certain semiconductor manufacturing innovations. Qualifying nonprovisional utility patent applications, directed to certain processes and apparatuses for manufacturing semiconductor devices, will be advanced out of turn for examination (accorded special status) until a first action. Applicants are not required to satisfy the current requirements of the accelerated examination program or the prioritized examination program to qualify. 

The USPTO began accepting petitions to participate in the Semiconductor Technology Pilot Program on December 1. The pilot program will be available until December 2 of this year, or until the USPTO accepts 1,000 grantable petitions (whichever is reached first). 

Visit uspto.gov/semiconductortechnology to learn more about the Semiconductor Technology Pilot Program.