Who can resist an announcement laced with nerdy acronyms? Last week, theCanadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) announced the launch of a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot agreement with the European Patent Office (EPO). The initial pilot will run from January 6, 2015, to January 5, 2018.

Canadians can gain access to accelerated processing of patent applications, where the claims have been found to be patentable by either the EPO or CIPO, based on a WO-ISA (Written Opinion of the International Searching Authority) or a WO-IPEA (Written Opinion of the International Preliminary Examination Authority ) or even an IPRP (International Preliminary Report on Patentability). Applications filed after January 6, 2015 are eligible to participate in the pilot agreement.

Note that applicants should be prepared to move quickly, since the response periods are shortened and any requests for an extension of time can result in the application being shunted out of the PPH program, in which case the applicant is SOL.

If you want to participate in the CIPO-EPO PPH, contact our IP&T Group.