On March 22, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that it was breaking its final ties with Russia’s intellectual property agencies.  Specifically, the USPTO has terminated engagement with officials from the Federal Service for Intellectual Property (Russia’s patent and trademark agency, known as Rospatent), the Eurasian Patent Organization (a Russian-based patent agency), and the national intellectual property office of Belarus.

This means that the USPTO will no longer be granting requests to participate in the Global Patent Prosecution Highway (GPPH) when those requests are based on work performed by Rospatent.  The USPTO is also advising applicants who are filing international applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) to exercise caution before selecting Rospatent as an International Searching Authority (ISA) or International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA). In fact, the USPTO warns that paying Rospatent to conduct patent prior art searches may prevent successful processing of PCT applications.