Patent Prosecution Highway Programme

Government of India had approved the proposal for Bilateral Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) Programme between Indian Patent Office under Controller General of Patents, Design and Trade Marktis (CGPDTM), Government of India and Patent Offices of other interested countries. The Maiden’s initiative is by the Japan Patent Office (JPO). They had planned to run a trial operation for 3 years.

Patent prosecution highway programme.

The Patent Prosecution Highway Program (PPH) is a programme to fast-track patent examination. It gives a framework in which an application classified as patentable in the Office of Earlier Examination is eligible to have an accelerated examination in the Office of Later Examination with a simple procedures at the request of the applicant.

The word “prosecution” should not be understood like criminal law. Normally, granting a patent prosecution is the process of drafting, filing, and negotiating with the respective patent offices to obtain patent protection. The Patent prosecution Highway is a bilateral agreement between the Patent Offices for the following purposes:

1.Promote work-sharing and

2.Enable accelerated processing of patent applications (as patent offices can make use of the inputs of the other patent office as well).

Patent Prosecution Highway is not a novel concept. In fact, there is a PCT-led Patent Prosecution Highway Pilot (India is not a party to it).

Advantages of the Patent prosecution highway:

  • Accelerated processing of your application
  • Free of charge
  • Improved efficiency by re-using work

To participate in Patent Prosecution Highway programmes there are some requirements:

  • the European patent application must have the same earliest date i.e. priority or filing date as the corresponding application,
  • the corresponding application must have at least one claim that is patentable,
  • all claims in the European patent application need to correspond sufficiently,
  • Substantive examination of the European patent application must not have begun at the time the PPH request is filed, check the European Patent Register.

The European Patent Office (EPO) currently has Patent Prosecution Highway programmes with a number of other offices. The office that initially deems the claims patentable is called the Office of Earlier Examination (OEE). The office that can then make use of the OEE’s work results is called the Office of Later Examination (OLE). The work done by the OEE can streamline work at the OLE, and thus speed up the procedure. At the EPO, there is no compulsory recognition of work results. In the interest of efficiency and user-friendliness, all the EPO’s PPH programmes are in line with PPH programmes operational worldwide.

Merit for Offices and Applicants: Quality Improvement

  • In PPH scheme, the examination quality of the OLE is guaranteed for at least the OEE level.
  • In addition, the OLE examiners can learn the OEE examination/search practices via submitted OAs and cited prior arts.
  • In this sense, PPH scheme is virtually a sort of examiner exchange program.

The EPO’s current Patent Prosecution Highway programmes are with:

  • United States (USPTO)
  • Australia (IPA)
  • Brazil (INPI)
  • the Philippines (IPOPHL)
  • Russia (Rospatent)
  • Canada (CIPO)
  • China (CNIPA)
  • Colombia (SIC)
  • Singapore (IPOS)
  • the Philippines (IPOPHL)
  • Eurasian Patent Office (EAPO)
  • Israel (ILPO)
  • Japan (JPO)
  • Korea (KIPO)
  • Malaysia (MyIPO)
  • Mexico (IMPI)
  • Peru (INDECOPI)

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