Ten years of fast-track examination of patent applications – Patent Prosecution Highway

The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) is an agreement between patent offices. The aim is to provide patent applicants with a quick and efficient way to obtain a patent in several countries. Under PPH, the patent offices have agreed that an applicant who has filed a first application with a first patent office, and has received a positive opinion that the application is allowable, may request fast-track examination when filing a corresponding application with a second patent office. With PPH, the PRH’s goal is primarily to make the patent application process at other patent offices easier for Finnish applicants.

Nearly 50 patent offices participate in PPH, and tens of thousands of PPH requests are being filed through the system each year. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has received the highest number of PPH requests, more than 50,000 requests in total.

The first agreement with Japan, the second with the USA

The PRH’s first PPH agreement with the Japan Patent Office (JPO) entered into force ten years ago in April 2009. Only ten patent offices participated in PPH in 2009, so the PRH has been part of PPH almost right from the start.

After Japan, the PRH made a PPH agreement with the USPTO. The agreement entered into force in July 2009. Of all PPH agreements made by the PRH, the USPTO is clearly the most popular office to file a PPH request with. By June 2018, 237 PPH requests had been filed with the USPTO concerning applications the PRH had examined earlier. In the last ten years, the PRH has received 28 PPH requests, which is an indication of the speed of our processing – we usually make a final decision before other patent offices.

The PPH system was later simplified, and patent offices no longer necessarily need to make bilateral agreements with each patent office. The new system is called Global PPH.

Read more about PPH.

Global PPH countries in 2019.

For more information, please contact:

Ms Hanna Aho
Principal Patent Examiner
Tel. +358 29 509 5488
Email: firstname.lastname@prh.fi

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Latest update 18.07.2019