skip to main content skip to accessibility policy

Articles & Updates – Details

6 May 2011

UK IPO and USPTO in Joint Plan to Reduce Backlog of Patent Applications

UK IPO and USPTO in Joint Plan to Reduce Backlog of Patent Applications

The United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) are currently running a joint action plan aimed at reducing the backlog of patent applications in the two offices. The plan began in March 2010, and progress was reported on 5 April 2011 by David Kappos, US Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, and Baroness Wilcox, UK Parliamentary Under Secretary for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The action plan allows a patent examiner in one office to make maximum use of work already done by an examiner in the other office on a corresponding application. This reduces duplication of work, with the aims of speeding up prosecution of applications and increasing quality. The action plan follows-up on a study commissioned by the UKIPO into the economic impact of delays in the processing of the patent applications, which identified several important problems caused by such delays.

Highlights of the progress made in the action plan during the first year are reported to include:

  • IT improvements in the two offices to enable examiners to better access each other’s search and examination reports.
  • Improvements in the procedures of the offices to facilitate reuse of search and examination reports and enhance understanding of practice in each office.
  • Development of metrics to analyse the impact of this reuse.

The UK IPO and the USPTO intend to continue collecting and analysing data from the action plan to identify areas for improvement, and for potential further cooperation between the offices.

Useful links

UK IPO press release

USPTO press release


Bookmark and Share

Related Resources

Related People

Senior Associate, Patent Attorney

Follow us

Newsletter subscriptions

In support of our environmental policy we encourage email subscriptions to receive our patent and trade mark newsletters as soon as they are published. Please send your contact details to

For RSS users

Our RSS news feeds allow you to see when we have added new content to our website so you can get the latest site updates in one place, as soon as they are published.

Social media

Privacy Policy

We are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. To understand our views and practices regarding your personal data and how we will treat it please see