Commencement of the Patent Prosecution Highway pilot program between the JPO and the Polish Patent Office
The Japan Patent Office (JPO) will commence a PPH*1 pilot program with the Polish Patent Office (PPO) on January 31, 2013.
This PPH will allow Japanese companies to obtain stable patent rights quickly in Poland, as the results that Japan's examination of patent applications will be used in the PPO's examination procedures, and will lead to the facilitation of their business expansion in that country.
The number of countries and regions that have concluded the PPH with Japan has now reached 24.
*1: Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH): A scheme whereby patent applicants whose applications have been determined as patentable by a patent office are entitled to request, through a simple procedure, an accelerated examination of the corresponding applications in another patent office.
The globalization of the world economy is accelerating the tendency to file and obtain patents for the same invention in multiple countries. This has resulted in an increase in the number of patent filings worldwide and thus longer examination periods. To cope with these problems, the JPO is promoting the PPH scheme, which helps applicants acquire patents more speedily and protects their rights more effectively outside their home countries, and mitigates the examination load of patent offices.
2. PPH pilot program between the JPO and the PPO
The JPO and the PPO agreed to start a PPH pilot program on January 31, 2013. This will bring the number of Japan's PPH partners to 24.
This PPH applies to the patent applications that are assumed patentable by the JPO or the PPO, as well as international patent applications (PCT applications*2) having received a positive written opinion from the JPO, serving as the International Searching Authority (or the International Preliminary Examining Authority).*3
Poland's economic growth rate has been high, and investment from Japan has been growing. Through the program, it is expected that Japanese companies will obtain stable patent rights quickly while providing the results of Japan's examinations to the PPO in its examination procedure. This would help Japanese companies to smoothly expand their business in Poland.
With a view to helping Japanese applicants obtain foreign stable patents promptly, the JPO will continue making efforts to increase the number of PPH partners and to standardize and simplify PPH application procedures. At the same time, it will seek to enhance the use of the examination results of other patent offices in order to improve the examination quality and reduce the workload of patent examiners.
*2: PCT application: PCT applications are international patent applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). By filing a single PCT application, an applicant can achieve the effect of simultaneously filing it in a plurality of PCT member states that he/she designates. Since these applications are examined for patentability by the International Searching Authority or the International Preliminary Examining Authority designated by the PCT, with the results published, patent offices can refer to official opinions presented therein during their domestic examination of corresponding applications.
*3: PCT-PPH: A framework that allows an applicant to apply for a fast-track examination based on a written opinion prepared by a specific International Searching Authority or a specific International Preliminary Examining Authority or positive opinion of patentability in an international preliminary examination report.
January 30, 2013
Division in Charge
- General Affairs Department, International Affairs Division, Japan Patent Office;
- Examination Policy Planning Office, Administrative Affairs Division, First Patent Examination Department