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Applying for a patent

Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH)

The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) is a programme to fast-track patent examination.

It allows you to request accelerated processing of a European application if the claims have been deemed patentable/allowable by another office. At the same time, it enables the EPO to re-use the work done at other offices.

Advantages of the PPH

  • accelerated processing of your application
  • free of charge
  • improved efficiency by re-using work

About the PPH

The EPO currently has PPH programmes with a number of other offices.

The office that initially deems the claims patentable/allowable is called the Office of Earlier Examination (OEE). The office that can then make use of the OEE's work results is called the Office of Later Examination (OLE). The work done by the OEE (search reports, written opinions and international preliminary reports on patentability) can streamline work at the OLE, and thus speed up the procedure. At the EPO, there is no compulsory recognition of work results.

In the interest of efficiency and user-friendliness, all the EPO's PPH programmes are in line with PPH programmes operational worldwide, e.g. the IP5 PPH and the Global PPH (GPPH), thus ensuring full compatibility.

The EPO's current PPH programmes are with:

Participation in the PPH programme is free of charge.

Requirements

To participate in the PPH programme, you must meet the following requirements:

  • the European patent application must have the same earliest date (i.e. priority or filing date) as the corresponding application,
  • the corresponding application must have at least one claim that is patentable/allowable,
  • all claims in the European patent application need to correspond sufficiently (claims are considered to fulfil this requirement if they have the same, a similar or a narrower scope),
  • substantive examination of the European patent application must not have begun at the time the PPH request is filed (for unpublished applications, the examination start date is visible only at the request of the applicant or his representative or in MyFiles; for published applications, check the European Patent Register).

Documents

To request participation, you need the following documents:

  • the request for participation in the programme (EPO Form 1009),
  • the declaration of "claims correspondence" (included in EPO Form 1009),
  • a copy of the latest national or PCT work product drawn up by the OLE,
  • a copy of the patentable/allowable claims and copies of the documents cited in the national work product or latest PCT work product. Translations will need to be filed if these documents are not in an official EPO language. If any of the above documents are already available to the EPO, then you do not need to resubmit them.

Alternatively, you may request the EPO to retrieve the documents and/or translations from the available dossier access system (electronic file wrapper) or Patentscope.

Official notices

PPH Programme Dashboard

For more information, please see the following notices published in the EPO Official Journal:

a. IP5: JPO (Japan), KIPO (Korea), CNIPA (China), USPTO (United States)

Patent Prosecution Highway programme between the IP5 Offices based on PCT and national work products. With effect from 6 January 2020, the IP5 PPH programme is extended for a period of three years ending on 5 January 2023. (OJ EPO 2019, A106)

b. IP Australia (Australia)

Patent Prosecution Highway extended pilot programme between the European Patent Office and IP Australia based on PCT and national work products. With effect from 1 July 2019, the PPH pilot programme between the EPO and IPA is extended for a period of three years ending on 30 June 2022. (OJ EPO 2019, A58)

c. INPI (Brazil)

Patent Prosecution Highway extended pilot programme between the European Patent Office and the National Institute of Industrial Property of Brazil based on national work products. The PPH pilot programme between the EPO and INPI commenced on 1 December 2019, for a period of five years ending on 30 November 2024. (OJ EPO 2019, A95)

d. CIPO (Canada)

Patent Prosecution Highway pilot programme between the European Patent Office and the Canadian Intellectual Property Office based on PCT and national work products. With effect from 6 January 2021, the PPH programme between the EPO and CIPO is extended for an indefinite period. (OJ EPO 2020, A137)

e. SIC (Colombia)

Patent Prosecution Highway extended pilot programme between the European Patent Office and the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce of Colombia based on PCT and national work products. With effect from 1 October 2019, the PPH pilot programme between the EPO and SIC is extended for a period of three years ending on 30 September 2022. (OJ EPO 2019, A78)

f. EAPO (Eurasian Patent Office)

Patent Prosecution Highway permanent programme between the European Patent Office and the Eurasian Patent Office based on PCT and national work products. With effect from 1 October 2020, the PPH programme between the EPO and EAPO is extended for an indefinite period. (OJ EPO 2020, A114)

g. ILPO (Israel)

Patent Prosecution Highway permanent programme between the European Patent Office and the Israel Patent Office based on PCT and national work products. With effect from 6 January 2021, the PPH programme between the EPO and ILPO is extended for an indefinite period. (OJ EPO 2020, A125)

h. MyIPO (Malaysia)

Patent Prosecution Highway permanent programme between the European Patent Office and the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia based on PCT and national work products. With effect from 1 July 2020, the PPH programme between the EPO and MyIPO is extended for an indefinite period. (OJ EPO 2020, A82)

i. IMPI (Mexico)

Patent Prosecution Highway permanent programme between the European Patent Office and the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property based on PCT and national work products. With effect from 6 January 2020, the PPH programme between the EPO and IMPI is extended for an indefinite period. (OJ EPO 2020, A21)

j. INDECOPI (Peru)

Patent Prosecution Highway pilot programme between the European Patent Office and the Superintendence of Industry and the National Institute for the Defense of Competition and Intellectual Property Protection of Peru based on PCT and national work products. The pilot programme commenced on 2 January 2020 for a period of three years ending on 1 January 2023. (OJ EPO 2019, A107)

k. IPOPHL (the Philippines)

Patent Prosecution Highway permanent programme between the European Patent Office and the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines based on PCT and national work products. With effect from 1 July 2020, the PPH programme between the EPO and IPOPHL is extended for an indefinite period. (OJ EPO 2020, A83)


l. ROSPATENT (Russia)

Patent Prosecution Highway permanent programme between the European Patent Office and the Federal Service for Intellectual Property based on PCT and national work products. With effect from 1 February 2020, the PPH programme between the EPO and ROSPATENT is extended for an indefinite period. (OJ EPO 2020, A11)

m. IPOS (Singapore)

Patent Prosecution Highway permanent programme between the European Patent Office and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore based on PCT and national work products. With effect from 6 January 2021, the PPH programme between the EPO and IPOS is extended for an indefinite period. (OJ EPO 2020, A138)

EPO Form 1009

Request for participation in the Patent Prosecution Highway programme - EPO Form 1009 (OJ EPO 2016, A44)