INTRODUCTION

The Patent Prosecution Highway (“PPH”) is a programme that allows for the sharing of search and examination results between participating patent offices. The goal is to allow applicants in participating countries to obtain corresponding patents quickly.

With effect from 6 January 2015, the European Patent Office (“EPO”) has entered into a PPH arrangement that is similar to the existing PPH arrangements that the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (“IPOS”) has with the State Intellectual Property Office of the People's Republic of China (“SIPO”), the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property of the United Mexican States (“IMPI”), and the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (“DPMA”).

The bilateral PPH pilot programme between IPOS and the EPO is for a period of 3 years until 5 January 2018.

Applicability of accelerated examination

The bilateral PPH pilot programme between IPOS and the EPO is only applicable to search and examination options with substantive examination.

The table below sets out the search and examination options for which accelerated prosecution with the PPH can be requested.

Click here to view table.

The bilateral PPH pilot programme between IPOS and the EPO is NOT applicable to the following search and examination options.

Click here to view table.

Requirements for requesting accelerated examination

In order to request for an accelerated examination, the requirements set out below must be met:

  1. both the SG application for which accelerated prosecution is requested and the EPO application forming the basis of the PPH request must have the same earliest date (whether this is a priority date or a filing date);
  2. the EPO application must have at least one claim that is determined to be allowable/patentable by the EPO respectively, and all claims in the SG application must be either identical or narrower in scope (“related”) than the allowed/patentable claims in the EPO application respectively;
  3. examination must not yet have begun for the SG application.

Necessary documents for requesting accelerated examination

In order to request for an accelerated examination of an SG application, the following documents are required:

  1. a copy of all office actions of the EPO application being relied upon;
  2. a copy of the allowable/patentable patent claims referred to in (a); and
  3. a table setting out how each claim in the SG application is related to the claims in (b).

If the documents in (a) and (b) above are available in the EPO Dossier Access System or the WIPO PATENTSCOPE System, the said documents need not be filed.

If any of the documents in (a) and (b) above are not in English, then an English translation of the document will be required to be submitted together with the document.