Changes in fast-track processing of patent applications

The Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH) has made changes to the process for fast-tracking national patent applications. The purpose of the changes is to make fast-track processing more predictable, which reduces the need for special arrangements at the PRH and on the applicant's side.

The changes apply to applications filed on 1 September 2020 and thereafter. The change concerning the target time (2 months) for further processing will be applied retroactively to all applications subject to fast-track processing.

The goal of fast-track processing is to enable the applicant to get both a patentability statement and a possible communication of approval during the priority year. This means that the applicant receives in good time information on the patentability of the invention and can, if the applicant so wishes, use the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) system abroad.

Most important changes

  • Fast-track processing must be requested when filing the application, and cannot be requested later.
  • Fast-track processing of the application will continue, even if the PRH has to issue a formal office action to point out the deficiencies in the application, such as an unpaid application fee or an undelivered power of attorney or assignment document. The applicant can remedy formal deficiencies within the time limit given in the office action.
  • The PRH will issue the first office action within 3 months after all application documents are in order and the application has proceeded to the technical examination. Previously, the target time was 4 months from the date of receipt of the application.
  • The PRH will issue the second office action within 2 months from the applicant’s reply to the first office action. Previously, the target time was 1–2 months.

No other changes in the process for fast-track processing

Fast-track processing can be requested for national patent applications, including applications claiming priority and applications resulting from division or separation. International applications pursued in Finland cannot be fast-tracked.

Patent applications are approved for fast-track processing if our examiners in the relevant technical field can fast-track the examination of your application and if:

  1. the invention relates to bioeconomy, circular economy, or pure technology solutions; or
  2. you are proceeding with your application through the PPH route; or
  3. you informally point out an important economic reason, or another strong argument for fast-track processing.

We do not charge an additional fee for fast-track processing.

Read more about fast-track processing.

For more information, please contact:

Patent Advisory Service
Tel. +358 29 509 5858
Email: neuvonta.patentti@prh.fi

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Latest update 01.09.2020