According to the EPO, the world’s five largest Intellectual Property Offices, called IP5, have announced the agreement to launch a comprehensive IP5 Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot programme, IP5 PPH, intended to take effect in January 2014.
The IP5 are the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Korean IP Office (KIPO), the State IP Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
When entering into effect the IP5 PPH programme thus means that the EPO will have PPH agreements with not only the JPO and the USPTO but also with the KIPO and the SIPO. This offers new interesting possibilities for applicants using the EPO as the office for first filing of patent applications and desiring accelerated examination of their corresponding patent applications outside Europe.
The IP5 PPH programme will utilise of both PCT and national work products. Also, the PPH arrangements currently operational between any two of the IP5 offices will be integrated in the IP5 PPH programme.
The details of the IP5 PPH programme are not yet published, but as always the Awapatent IP Blog will follow the developments.
Troels Peter Rørdam, European Patent Attorney & Certified Danish Patent Agent