Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) programme outline
The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) is a programme providing the applicant with the opportunity to expedite patent prosecution.
In principle, the PPH allows an applicant to request accelerated patent prosecution at the EPO where a corresponding application has already been found to contain patentable/allowable claims at a PPH partner office. The programme allows partner offices to reutilise work already available and, hence, process applications in an accelerated manner.
Currently, the EPO maintains PPH programmes with all IP5 Offices, i.e. JPO (Japan), KIPO (Republic of Korea), CNIPA (P.R. of China) and the USPTO (United States). Further PPH partner offices are IPA (Australia), INPI (Brazil), CIPO (Canada), SIC (Colombia), ILPO (Israel), MyIPO (Malaysia), IMPI (Mexico), INDECOPI (Peru), IPOPHL (the Philippines), IPOS (Singapore) and SAIP (Saudi Arabia). The PPH programmes with the Eurasian Patent Office (EAPO) and ROSPATENT (Russia) are currently suspended.
Participation in the PPH programme at the EPO is free of charge.