Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH), which is a mutual agreement between two offices allowing applicants to request a fast-track examination by using the examination conducted by the other office or vice versa, has been continuously gaining popularity worldwide as an alternative route to expedite the examination of a patent application.
On 23 September 2014. the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), agreed to launch a PPH pilot programme from January 2015.
In Singapore, there are five (5) existing PPH programs namely: IPOS-USPTO, IPOS-JPO, IPOS-KIPO, IPOS-SIPO, and IPOS-IMPI.
This programme provides faster examination of a patent application. If at least one of the claims of the corresponding application has been found to be patentable in the first filing office (either EPO or IPOS), the applicant may have the option to file a PPH request in the second filing office. Hence, the grant rate will increase since the second filing office will utilize the examination conducted by the first filing office.
Moreover, the PPH minimizes Office Actions that will be issued to the applicants. Apart from this, there are no fees for filing a PPH request. Thus, PPH also lowers the cost of prosecuting the application.