HomePatent Prosecution Highway (PPH) in EPO
Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) in EPO

EPO’s participation in the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) programmes enable applicants who received a final notice of patentable/allowable claim(s) to leverage examination procedure of a corresponding application filed with EPO (or EPO’s PPH partner office) in an accelerated manner.

Basically, if patentability of a patent application (Paris or PCT route) has been discovered by one of the PPH cooperating offices, EPO (or EPO’s PPH partner office) can exploit work results available from the other office.

When submitting PPH request to EPO, it is important to meet the following criteria:

  • corresponding applications must share the same date of the earliest priority;
  • at least one of the corresponding applications must have one or more claims determined patentable/allowable;
  • claims must sufficiently correspond to the claims identified as patentable by having the same or similar (narrower) scope of protection;
  • substantive examination has not yet begun, which means examination starting date has not been generated.

EPO permits correction of all defects in the PPH request only one time, therefore, meeting EPO set of requirements plays important role in application acceptance for accelerated proceedings.

Currently, EPO runs different PPH programmes with JPO (Japan), KIPO (South Korea), CNIPO (China), MyIPO (Malaysia), ILPO (Israel), Rospatent (Russia), EAPO, USPTO (USA), CIPO (Canada), IMPI (Mexico), IPOS (Singapore), IPA (Australia), IPOPHL (Philippines), INPI (Brazil) and SIC (Colombia).

PPH request can be based on:

  • the latest PCT work product (written opinion of the ISA (WO‑ISA) or IPER) established by one of the participating offices as ISA or IPEA;
  • a national work product established for a conventional or PCT application that has entered the national phase before one of the participating offices.

Use of PPH programmes offers significant strategic possibilities and attracts applicants seeking quick and efficient protection in several countries.

Irrespective of the PPH pilot programme, any applicant interested in even more expedited prosecution may request accelerated examination under the PACE programme in the procedure before the EPO as a designated Office at any time.