What is the PatentProsecution Highway?
The Technical Expert Solution for IP Teams
The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) speeds up the examination process for corresponding applications that are filed in participating property offices. Under the PPH, participating parties agree that when an applicant receives a final ruling from a first patent office allowing at least one claim, the applicant may request a fast track examination of corresponding claims in a corresponding patent application that may be pending in a second patent office. The PPH process will thus fast track examination procedures amongst participating patent offices, allowing applicants to realize a final disposition of a patent application more rapidly and more efficiently than standard examination procedures.
Disclaimer: Although this article may highlight some legal topics, GHB Intellect provides technology- and business-focused consultancy and does not offer accounting, tax, investment or legal advice, analysis, or representation.
If a positive examination result has been obtained in one patent office location, and the same scope of protection is desired in other geographic territories, then the PPH can make it much easier for you to obtain a quick grant of corresponding pending patents in those areas.
On January 6, 2014, the USPTO launched pilots to simplify access to participating PPH offices. The new pilots – formulated under Global PPH and IP5 PPH auspices – replaced existing forms and procedures that were unique to each PPH country pairing with one form and common rules for participating countries, thereby simplifying the process.
Core requirements are common to each PPH agreement, although there are exceptions and intricacies that you may need to consider.
The core requirements generally are:
Intricacies of some agreements include:
It is a good idea to ensure that you check the requirements set out in each particular agreement before using the PPH under that agreement due to the exceptions that need to be considered.
Several offices give the applicant a single opportunity to correct any issues in their PPH request. Those offices also note that examinations will not be suspended or put off to allow time for the PPH request to be corrected. The PPH can be applied for as many times as is requested, as long as the above requirements are met. Accordingly, refusal of a PPH request is not necessarily fatal to using the PPH.
At GHB Intellect, we harness our intellectual property development talents and services to assist counsel in crafting an exemplary patent application. Seeking a patent requires carefully explaining the processes and the products to protect so as to get approval and protection against objections and potential infringement by third parties. We can also conduct patent searches to make sure an idea is not already patented.
In addition to intellectual property development, we analyze patent portfolios and perform patent valuation to aid in business acquisitions and other transactions.
For IP development and management consulting, contact GHB Intellect today.