By Donald Zuhn --
On Thursday, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced that it would extend the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program for an additional six months. The PPH pilot program, which the office began almost a year ago on July 3, 2006, allows an applicant having an application whose claims have been allowed in Japan to fast track the examination of a corresponding U.S. application, such that the application would be examined out of turn. The PPH pilot program was only recently modified on June 12, 2007 to permit certain applications based on PCT filings, which had been originally excluded, to qualify for the program. The PPH pilot program will now continue until January 3, 2008. Additional information regarding the PPH program can be found here.