The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) Pilot Program between the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) and the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO) began a two year trial period on September 1, 2013. 

The PPH Pilot Program enables an applicant to have their Chinese patent application examined out of turn (i.e. advanced examination) if the corresponding application filed with CIPO contains claims that have been determined to be allowable by CIPO. 

Similarly, Chinese applicants with a pending patent application before CIPO will be able to request accelerated prosecution in Canada if the equivalent Chinese patent application has at least one claim deemed allowable by SIPO. The fee normally associated with advanced examination in Canada is $500.00 for applications not examined under the PPH Pilot Program. There is no fee, per se, to request advanced examination under the CIPO-SIPO PPH Pilot Program.

With 535,313 domestic based patent applications filed with the SIPO in 2012, the introduction of the CIPO-SIPO PPH Program may see a rise in future Canadian patent filings (35,011 in 2012).

CIPO received 832 PPH requests in 2012 (up from 575 in 2011). The average time of a PPH patent application from first action to allowance was 4 months versus 18 months for all applications (PPH and non-PPH).