- 12 Apr 2012 9:02 AM
Remarks by Ambassador Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis at Signing of MOU on Patents
Thank you, Robert Peaslee, for introducing me. I’m honored to speak at the USPTO/HIPO Stakeholders Meeting today.
A few weeks ago I finished a fabulous book by Kati Marton called The Great Escape. It chronicles the stories of nine Hungarian Jews who escaped Hitler and changed the world. The opening scene is unforgettable. It’s August 1939. Leo Szilard, and Jeno Wigner, two Hungarian physicists are wandering around the Hamptons in an old car. They are lost, bickering in Hungarian, and looking for Albert Einstein.
Well, I encourage you all to buy my friend Kati’s book to hear the rest of the story – Though I am sure many of you know that their meeting with Einstein would ultimately launch the Manhattan project. The point is, the United States has long recognized and respected the Hungarian tradition of innovation. Fast forward to the present time, and this is, in essence, why Hungary was chosen to be part of a historic pilot program with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in July 2010.
The program, known as the Patent Prosecution Highway, or PPH, allows inventors from both Hungary and the United States accelerated access to patent protection in our respective countries.
This means that Hungarian inventors can patent their inventions in the U.S. much more quickly and with far lower costs than in the past. A process that previously took 18 months to 2 years can take as little as 4 to 6 months under the PPH. It also represents a cost savings of several thousand dollars to the inventor.
This allows Hungarian inventors efficient access to one of the most desired markets in the world: the United States.
And for our Governments, it means greater efficiencies and more information sharing. This lets us focus on protecting the intellectual property of our inventors so they can focus on what they do best: innovating!
Today, United States Under Secretary of Commerce David Kappos and President of the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office Dr. Miklos Bendszel will sign a Memorandum of Understanding to further cement our cooperation. Under PPH 2.0, the process is further streamlined to allow more electronic documentation, self-certification by the applicant, and it lowers the barriers of language translation.
Patent applications in the United States are generally successful about half of the time. This program changes that for Hungarian inventors who already hold a Hungarian patent and doubles the rate of success to nearly 100%.
Today, we will hear from several Hungarian-American inventors about the real world benefits of this agreement.
I am pleased to be a part of this program, and I think you will be inspired by the work that these inventors are doing. The Memorandum of Understanding that is signed today is a key component to bringing this inspiration to reality.
Thank you very much."
Source: U.S. Embassy Budapest