September 12, 2019

EPO and Australia PPH programme extended

On July 1, 2019, the European Patent Office (EPO) announced that they would extend the PPH pilot programme with IP Australia. This extension comes after the initial PPH programme between the two IP offices that was implemented in July 2016. 

The three-year initial programme proved a great success, thus confirming the extension for a further three-year period that will run until June 30, 2022, with the previous conditions in force. Under these conditions, a PPH request may be made upon:

1)prior art findings on a PCT application, such as a written opinion of the ISA or IPEA, provided the reports were established by either IP Australia or the EPO. 

2) the findings established during the processing of a PCT application that has entered the national phase, or during the processing of a national application. 

In addition, corresponding applications must have the same priority date, and at least one claim deemed as patentable by the other office. Further claims on the application must sufficiently correspond with the initial claim deemed patentable. 

The PPH programme is designed to afford international IP offices a faster examination procedure with bilateral cooperation in place. The EPO presently have PPH programmes in force with the national IP offices of Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Israel, Malaysia, Colombia, the Philippines, Singapore, Russia and the Eurasian Patent Office. They are also a member office of the previously established IP5, a PPH cooperation made up of the EPO, China, the US, Japan and Korea.


Author: Danielle Carvey