Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH)

The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) is an agreement between patent authorities, and its aim is to provide applicants with a quick and efficient alternative to obtain a patent by filing a second application corresponding a first application with any of the PPH-participating offices. The PRH has made PPH agreements with a number of patent offices. The agreements also involve information exchange, resulting in less overlapping search and examination, and improved patent quality.

You may request a fast-track examination of your application at a second office on the basis of a Finnish patent application, if the PRH has already found the claims allowable. Reciprocally, if another office has found your patent claims allowable, you may request a fast-track examination from the PRH. After an accepted PPH request, we will fast-track your application until the final result.

The opinion of the Office of First Filing (OFF) is not binding on the Office of Second Filing (OSF), because all offices always make their own decisions. At the PRH, searches and examinations are based on Finnish legislation – the Patents Act, Patents Decree and Patent Regulations – and on our processing guidelines. Taking advantage of the PPH system increases the likelihood that your applications following your first application will be allowed. Besides time, the PPH normally saves you costs, too, as the number of office actions issued during the procedure tends to decrease.

Basic requirements for filing a PPH request

1. The application to the Office of Second Filing (OSF)/Office of Later Examination (OLE) must be linked with the application to the Office of First Filing (OFF)/Office of Earlier Examination, OEE). For example, the OFF/OEE application may be the application from which you claim priority in your OSF/OLE application.

2. An OFF/OEE application must have at least one claim that has been judged by the OFF/OEE to be allowable.

3. All the claims in an OSF/OLE application must correspond to the allowable claims of the OFF/OEE application.

The PPH procedure: Application 1 and application 2 must have a relationship. For example, No. 2 may claim priority from No. 1, or it may be a PCT application in the national phase.

FAQ

How much does a PPH request cost?

Normally, it does not cost anything. The Korean patent office charges a handling fee.

When can I file a PPH request?

You can file a PPH request at any time during an application procedure. If there are allowable claims in your priority application, you can file a PPH request when you file your second application. Patent offices follow their own practices concerning the latest possible filing date. Normally, you have to file a request before the office has started its examination. Therefore, always check the instructions on the respective patent office’s website. You can file a PPH request concerning an application under processing at the PRH, unless we have issued our final decision - in other words, allowed or rejected the application.

Corrections to the request

Some offices neither accept corrections to the PPH request, nor subsequent application documents. Always check the instructions on the respective patent office's website. Most offices allow you to complement your request at least once. A request to the PRH may be complemented as many times as is necessary.

PPH countries in July 2017 / Picture: Japan Patent Office

Further information

Go to the JPO’s PPH Portal Site for statistics, guidelines, and other information.

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Latest update 30.08.2017