4 July 2017
On 1 July the EPO launched Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot programmes with the patent offices of Malaysia and the Philippines to enable work-sharing and accelerated treatment of patent applications.
This follows the signing of PPH agreements in October 2016 by EPO President Benoît Battistelli and Dato' Shamsiah Kamaruddin, Director General of the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia, and with Josephine Santiago, Director General of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines.
"We are pleased to launch these programmes with Malaysia and the Philippines, two important markets in the dynamic ASEAN region," said EPO President Battistelli. "The fast-track procedures will enable companies and inventors from Europe and these two Southeast Asian countries to obtain patents more quickly and efficiently, boosting business and innovation in both our regions."
Under the pilot programmes, which will cover PCT and national work products and will each run for an initial period of three years starting 1 July 2017, applicants whose claims have been found to be patentable by the EPO or the Malaysian or Philippine patent office may ask for accelerated processing of their corresponding application at the other office, while the EPO and the two partner offices will share existing work results, speeding up the granting process and reducing costs for users.
The EPO already has operational PPH pilot programmes with the IP5 offices (a grouping of the world's five largest IP offices, namely the EPO, China, Japan, Korea, and the US), as well as with the national patent offices of Australia, Canada, Colombia, Israel, Mexico, Russia and Singapore.