A Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot programme between the EPO and IP Australia (IPA) commenced on 1 July 2016. The pilot scheme will last for a period of three years ending on 30 June 2019.
The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) programme allows applicants to accelerate prosecution of their application in one patent office by using positive examination results from another patent office. Specifically, participating patent offices have agreed that when at least one claim is considered to be allowable by a first patent office, the applicant may request fast track examination of the corresponding claim(s) in a corresponding pending patent application at a second patent office. Applicants may therefore benefit from expedited allowance and reduced prosecution costs.
Currently, the EPO’s other PPH partner offices are: JPO (Japan), KIPO (South Korea), SIPO (China), USPTO (USA), ILPO (Israel), CIPO (Canada), IMPI (Mexico) and IPOS (Singapore).