Following the success of the three-year Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program in 2016-2019 (now viewed as “Phase 1”), the Intellectual Property Office of Viet Nam (IP Viet Nam) and the Japan Patent Office (JPO) have announced that Phase 2 of the PPH will begin on April 1, 2019, and last for another three years (April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2022).

For Phase 2, the volume of PPH requests will be limited to 200 per year, with up to 100 requests accepted from April 1 to September 30 of each year, and the remainder accepted from October 1 to March 31 of the following calendar year. Judging from the results of Phase 1, the first 100 requests are likely to be filed very shortly after the program opens. Accordingly, PPH requests should be prepared in advance and submitted on the morning of April 1, 2019. Otherwise, filers may have to wait until October 1, 2019.