Introduction to PPH
The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) is a set of initiatives for providing accelerated patent prosecution procedures by sharing information between some patent offices. It also permits each participating patent office to benefit from the work previously done by the other patent office, with the goal of reducing examination workload and improving patent quality.
Under the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH), an applicant receiving a ruling from the Office of First Filing (OFF) that at least one claim in an application filed in the OFF is patentable may request that the Office of Second Filing (OSF) fast track the examination of corresponding claims in corresponding applications filed in the OSF. PPH will leverage fast-track examination procedures already available in the OSF to allow applicants in the OSF to obtain corresponding patents faster and more efficiently.
PPH speeds up the examination process and lowers costs. Managers responsible for their organization’s intellectual property strategy and legal counsel looking to obtain the best, most cost-effective advantage for their clients should consider it as a means to deliver significant benefits to their businesses.
Benefits to the PPH include:
Examination within two to three months from the grant of the PPH request provided the application has completed all its pre-exam processing and is ready for examination.
More than 90 percent of PPH cases are allowed. The allowance rate for non-PPH cases is less than 50 percent.
Decreased Costs of Prosecution
On average, PPH cases have fewer actions per disposal when compared
A Patent Cooperation Treaty/Patent Prosecution Highway (PCT/PPH) pilot program was started on 29 January 2010 for a planned period of two years. This pilot program enables to "[fast-track] patent examination procedures for PCT applications that have received a positive written opinion of either the International Searching Authority or the International Preliminary Examining Authority, or an international preliminary examination report from the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO) or the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).