New USPTO-Mexico Accelerated Patent Grant Arrangement Expands Opportunities For US Businesses

Alexandria, VA - August 7, 2023 - Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and Dr. José Sanchez Pérez, Director General of Mexico’s intellectual property office (IMPI) sign a Joint Statement on Accelerated Patent Grant. Joining Director Pérez were IMPI Deputy Director Abel Abarca and IMPI Deputy Director Aldo Fragaso. (Photo by Jay Premack/USPTO)

By Godson Umejiego, Bureau Chief, The Americas

On November 13, the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) published guidelines for the implementation of a new worksharing initiative with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO): the Accelerated Patent Grant (APG). The new arrangement gives eligible patent applicants the option of using an expedited process for obtaining a patent grant in Mexico based on a US patent grant.

“Expediting patent grants affords companies, including start-ups and small businesses, the ability to protect their ideas and inventions more quickly, secure funding, and bring their ideas to market,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Kathi Vidal. “This initiative with one of our largest trading partners provides exciting new opportunities for businesses in both countries, increasing economic activity through critical intellectual property (IP) protections.”

Under the APG process, an eligible patent applicant who has been granted a US patent by the USPTO may choose 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, subject to the relevant patent laws of Mexico. The APG worksharing arrangement goes into effect immediately. IMPI has published APG guidelines and an APG user guide in English. They are also available in Spanish on the IMPI website.

The new Accelerated Patent Grant worksharing arrangement will join other initiatives that the USPTO has undertaken in partnership with Mexico — such as the Patent Prosecution Highway pilot programme, the Patent Parallel Grant Agreement, and the Electronic Priority Document   Exchange — that underscore the importance of our US-Mexico relationship.

The publication of the APG guidelines follows the signing on August 7, 2023, of a joint statement of intent by Director Vidal and IMPI Director General José Sánchez Pérez.

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