New Global Patent Prosecution Highway and IP5 Patent Prosecution Highway Pilots

07 January 2014

The European Patent Office (EPO), along with the patent offices of Japan, Korea, China and the United States, together referred to as the IP5 Offices, launched a comprehensive Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot programme on 6 January 2014 for an initial trial period of three years.

The IP5 PPH takes advantage of accelerated patent examination procedures already available at the five patent offices to allow applicants to obtain patents faster and more efficiently by enabling the different patent offices to share examination work products.

The PPH provides the possibility for patent applicants, where one or more of their claims has been determined to be patentable/allowable in one IP5 office, to have a corresponding application filed with a PPH partner office processed in an accelerated manner. This includes claims found acceptable in PCT Written Opinions and/or International Preliminary Reports on Patentability produced by a participating office.

More details on the IP5 PPH, including eligibility criteria, are available here.

Global Patent Prosecution Highway (GPPH) pilot programme

In addition to the IP5 PPH, a new "Global" PPH pilot programme covering 13 intellectual property offices also commenced on 6 January 2014.

The 13 intellectual property offices covered by the GPPH are those of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, Korea, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom and United States, as well as the Nordic Patent Institute (NPI).

Similarly to the IP5 PPH, the GPPH pilot programme provides the possibility for patent applicants to request accelerated examination at any of the offices involved in the pilot, if at least one of their claims have been found to be acceptable by any of the other offices involved in the pilot, during examination of either a national application or a PCT application.

The pilot GPPH replaces previous bilateral agreements between some patent offices and will use a single set of qualifying requirements with the aim to simplify and improve the existing PPH network so that it is more accessible to users.

More details on the GPPH can be found here.

For any further information in relation to these new programmes, please contact your usual Potter Clarkson representative.


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