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HIGHWAY TOWARDS FASTER PROSECUTION OF PATENTS

Japan Patent Office (JPO) has become the first patent office to establish a PPH program with Indian Patent Office.

PPH program speeds up the examination process for the corresponding applications filed in the participating IP offices. Under this program once the first patent office allows at least one claim, the applicant can request for fast track examination for the corresponding claims that is pending in second patent office.

Through this fast track program, the patent applications can be disposed quickly and efficiently reducing the patent pendency. PPH program encourages the applicants/ inventors to apply for patent in jurisdictions of all participating Patent Offices. It also improves the quality of search and examination of patent applications.

PPH between India and Japan

The program has commenced on a pilot basis for a period of three (3) years. IPO and JPO have jointly released the “Procedure Guidelines for PPH” detailing the procedure for requesting expedited examination. The guidelines lay down the conditions of implementation, eligibility to avail benefit under the program, documents required to be submitted and procedure to be followed by both offices. Both offices will start accepting PPH requests from 5th December 2019 and initially receive 100 applications per year.

The guidelines are applicable to PPH as well as PPH-Mottainai. Under normal PPH a PPH request is eligible only when such request is made based on examination results of the Office of First Filing (OFF). However, in PPH-Mottainai a PPH request is eligible even when a request is made based on examination results from an office other than the OFF.

IPO will fast track patent applications in certain specified technical fields such as electrical, electronics, computer science, information technology, physics, civil, mechanical, textiles, automobiles and metallurgy. JPO will receive applications in all fields of technology.

IPO expects that the grant of patents and disposal of patent applications will rise to 25,000 and 60,000, respectively. Further, the examination time of a patent application is expected to be reduced to 12-16 months by March 2021. PPH program is a welcome step towards ensuring faster and efficient patent ecosystem in both the countries.

By Aditi Gupta (Senior Associate)

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