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IP5 Offices agree on joint PPH pilot program

  • Launch in January 2014
  • Aim: Faster processing of corresponding applications at IP5 level
  • Offices can exploit each other's work
  • JPO Commissioner Hato: “First step to further cooperation on enhancing quality and management systems”

Geneva, 23 September 2013 - The world's five largest Intellectual Property Offices (IP5) - the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the State Intellectual Property Office of the People's Republic of China (SIPO) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) - agreed to launch a comprehensive IP5 Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program as of January 2014. The program will utilise both PCT and national work products and will improve the accelerated treatment of patent applications. The PPH arrangements currently operational between the IP5 Offices will be integrated in this all-inclusive scheme.

Meeting in Geneva, EPO President Benoît Battistelli, JPO Commissioner Hideo Hato, KIPO Commissioner Young-min Kim, SIPO Deputy Commissioner He Hua and the Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce and Deputy Director of the USPTO, Teresa Stanek Rea, endorsed a pilot program which leverages fast track patent examination procedures already in place at the IP5 in order to enable obtaining patents faster and more efficiently. Under the program, applicants whose patent claims have been found to be patentable by one office may ask for accelerated processing of their corresponding applications pending before the other IP5 offices. Moreover, in carrying out the task the offices concerned will also exploit already existing work results to the extent practicable. Requests to use the PPH can be filed with any of the IP5 Offices both on the basis of PCT as well as national work products established by the IP5.

JPO Commissioner Hato said “It is gratifying that the start of the new IP5 initiative enabled us to present a strategic tool to the users in a simple manner. We should not be satisfied with this achievement. We will further discuss how to improve quality and management systems through the PPH arrangements among the IP5 Offices and make efforts to further strongly support the global activities of the industry.”

Details and requirements for participation in the IP5 PPH pilot program will be announced at www.jpo.go.jp.

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[Last updated 27 September 2013]

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