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Japan Patent OfficeCommencement of the Patent Prosecution Highway Program between the JPO and the Estonian Patent Office- Expansion of Global Patent Prosecution Highway -

The Japan Patent Office (JPO) and the Estonian Patent Office agreed to commence a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) program from July 6, 2015. This agreement brings the number of Japan’s PPH partners to 34 countries and regions. The PPH program will now allow Japanese companies to obtain patent rights quickly in Estonia and also contribute to their business expansion in the country.

1. Background

As the globalization of the world economy advances, the number of patent applications is increasing worldwide, including those filed by Japanese enterprises with overseas patent offices. In light of this situation, the JPO has been endeavoring to promote the PPH program (*1) to help applicants smoothly acquire patent rights and has been making efforts to effectively protect their patent rights overseas, while reducing the workload of patent examiners. As one of these efforts, with the aim of improving accessibility for applicants, the JPO encourages overseas patent offices to participate in the Global Patent Prosecution Highway (GPPH) (*2), under which various types of available PPH programs are harmonized so as to provide a framework among many member countries.

*1 There are the following three different PPH frameworks: Normal PPH, PPH MOTTAINAI, PCT-PPH.
*2 A multilateral framework under which the three types of PPH as mentioned above are available between the participating countries.

2. The PPH pilot program between the JPO and the Estonian Patent Office

The Estonian Patent Office decided to participate in the GPPH from July 6, 2015.
The program will allow patent applicants whose applications have been determined as patentable by the JPO to use a simple procedure to request an accelerated examination of the corresponding applications in the Estonian Patent Office.
The Estonian Patent Office’s participation in the GPPH brings the number of Japan’s PPH partners to 34 countries and regions.

3. The PPH pilot program between the JPO and DPMA

The German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) also decided to participate in the GPPH from July 6, 2015. The JPO has until now been conducting a PPH pilot program with the DPMA, and the DPMA’s participation in the GPPH allows applicants to also utilize the new PCT-PPH program.

With a view to helping Japanese applicants and companies smoothly obtain stable patents overseas, the JPO will continue its efforts to increase the number of PPH partners and to harmonize and simplify patent application procedures in cooperation with IP offices overseas.

Participating countries in the Global PPH pilot program

The DPMA’s and the Estonian Patent Office’s participation in the GPPH brings the number of GPPH member countries and regions to 21, namely, Japan, the United States of America, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Finland, Russia, Hungary, Canada, Spain, Sweden, the Nordic Patent Institute, Norway, Iceland, Israel, Portugal, Australia, Austria, Singapore, Germany and Estonia.

For more information about the PPH program, visit the following website:
http://www.jpo.go.jp/torikumi_e/t_torikumi_e/patent_highway_e.htmExternal Site Link

Release date

July 1, 2015

Division in Charge

  • Examination Policy Planning Office, Administrative Affairs Division, Patent and Design Examination Department, JPO
  • International Policy Division, Policy Planning and Coordination Department, JPO
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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