4 October 2017
Inventors and businesses applying for patent protection at the EPO and the Eurasian Patent Office (EAPO) are now able to benefit from fast-track patent examination at both offices, following the entry into force of the joint Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot programme. The PPH also permits each participating patent office to share and re-use existing work results.
This follows the signing of an agreement by EPO President Benoît Battistelli and EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova in April 2017.
"Our partnership with the EAPO enhances our regional cooperation, delivering a better service to users," said EPO President Benoît Battistelli. "Applicants seeking protection in both regions will be able to obtain patents more quickly and efficiently, boosting business and innovation."
The pilot will run for an initial term of three years and applicants whose claims have been found to be patentable by the EPO or EAPO may ask for accelerated processing of their corresponding application at the partner office, while the EPO and EAPO will share existing work results, speeding up the granting process and reducing costs for users. The EPO and EAPO will evaluate the results of the pilot programme to determine whether and how the programme should be fully implemented after the trial period.
The EPO already has operational PPH pilot programmes with the IP5 offices (a grouping of the world's five largest IP offices, made up of the EPO and the patent offices of China, Japan, Korea, and the US), as well as with the national patent offices of Australia, Canada, Colombia, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia and Singapore.
The EAPO is the executive body of the Eurasian Patent Organisation which was created in 1995 to provide a uniform application procedure for protect inventions on the basis of a single Eurasian patent valid in the territory of nine states party to the Eurasian Patent Convention (EAPC).