5 February 2016
The EPO has agreed to launch a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot programme with the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce of Colombia. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed last week in Bogotá by EPO President Benoît Battistelli and Pablo Felipe Robledo del Castillo, Colombia’s Superintendent of Industry and Commerce.
"I am pleased to sign this agreement, which further strengthens the economic and technological ties between Colombia and Europe,” said EPO President Benoît Battistelli. “Under the fast-track programme, companies and inventors from Europe and Colombia will be able to obtain patents more quickly and efficiently, boosting business and innovation in both our regions. It will also allow our offices to share work results, thus speeding up the process and reducing costs for applicants.”
“For the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (SIC), having signed a Memorandum of Understanding and a Patent Prosecution Highway Agreement with the European Patent Office, which is one of the most prestigious patent offices for its excellent quality, confirms the commitment of the SIC to offer Colombian and foreign inventors the option of obtaining consistent decisions in various jurisdictions around the world and in turn to support their intention to address other markets with innovative products,” said Colombia’s Superintendent of Industry and Commerce Pablo Felipe Robledo del Castillo.
Under the PPH pilot, which will initially run for three years starting in the second half of 2016, applicants whose claims have been examined by the EPO or the Colombian patent office may ask for accelerated processing of their corresponding application at the other office. The two offices will also share existing work results, thereby reducing duplication of efforts and increasing efficiency.
The EPO already has an operational PPH pilot programme with the IP5 offices (a grouping of the world’s five largest IP offices made up of the EPO plus the patent offices of China, Japan, Korea, and the US), as well as with the national patent offices of Canada, Israel, Mexico and Singapore. An MoU to establish a PPH pilot programme has also been signed with IP Australia.