20 January 2021
The EPO and the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) have announced that the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) programme between the two offices became permanent on 6 January 2021.
The offices have agreed to extend the agreement, following the completion of a pilot programme, which started in January 2015.
"We are very pleased to announce the continuation of the PPH with CIPO as a permanent service to our users," said EPO President António Campinos. "This is another milestone in our co-operation, which is aimed at improving the environment for innovation and streamlining the conditions for expedited prosecution at the two offices. We believe it will further promote cross-filing of patents in Europe and Canada, improve market access and bilateral trade, and benefit users of the patent system in both regions."
CIPO Chief Executive Officer (interim) Konstantinos Georgaras said: "I am pleased to continue our deep partnership with the EPO. Over the past 5 years, the PPH programme between the EPO and CIPO has strengthened our offices' ability to provide high-quality and timely intellectual property services to our clients and help businesses compete globally. We look forward to sustaining this valuable collaboration on a permanent basis and continuing to support clients of our patent systems."
The PPH enables applicants filing a patent at either the EPO and CIPO to have their application processed faster at the other office. It increases the efficiency and quality of the patent-granting process by enabling the offices to exploit each other's work.
The PPH pilot generated over 200 requests at the EPO by 30 September 2020, and more than 1 400 at the CIPO by 31 March 2020.
More details about the programme and the eligibility requirements are available on the EPO website.