November 29, 2018

Recent news about the Patent Prosecution Highway

On October 29, 2018, the Japanese and Indian heads of state agreed to launch a bilateral Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot programme planned for the first quarter of 2019’s financial year. This agreement was confirmed within the scope of the Japan-India summit held in Tokyo. Owing to the programme, applicants will benefit from an examination carried out in an accelerated manner. As a result, the patent prosecution process in both countries will become more efficient for reciprocal applications. Exact terms of cooperation between the Japanese and Indian patent offices are not yet confirmed; however, it has been stated that the pilot will be limited to some specific fields of inventions.

Furthermore, the Japan Patent Office (JPO) has agreed to extend the existing PPH pilot with the National Intellectual Property Administration of China (CNIPA) for five more years, until November 1, 2023. The pilot between the JPO and CNIPA was launched back in 2011 and was further extended twice in 2013 and 2015. Under the agreement, it is also possible to use international work products performed by CNIPA or JPO for PCT applications. 

The prolongation of the agreements implemented by the patent offices demonstrates the increasing demand for the PPH among applicants. Being one of the most active participants, Japan promotes cooperation under the programme and is currently involved in a total of 43 programs.

Author: Jessica Chester