Patent Prosecution Highway Pilot Program between the Korean Intellectual Property Office and the State Intellectual Property Office of the P. R. China
- The pilot program launched on March 1, 2012 -

The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO, Commissioner Soowon Lee) announced that a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program between KIPO and the State Intellectual Property Office of the P. R. China (SIPO) has been opened on March 1.

The pilot program was agreed upon between the heads of the both offices in November 2011 to utilize the examination results of each other and thereby shorten the pendency of patent prosecution. Under the PPH scheme, a patent application filed at both offices and granted at either one office, may be quickly prosecuted in the other office.

According to the ˇ°2011 World Intellectual Property Indicatorsˇ± issued by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) last December, the number of patent applications in China in 2010 by foreign applicants amounted to about 98,000, of which 7,200 were by Koreans. This shows that Korean companies are making active efforts to acquire patents in China.

Should an applicant acquire a patent from KIPO, the applicant may use the examination results from KIPO to expedite the prosecution procedure of his/her patent application filed at SIPO. Furthermore, if an applicant acquires a patent via accelerated examination procedures of KIPO and make a PPH request to SIPO, the entire period required for the patents at both offices would be shortened greatly.

Up to now, KIPO has PPH agreements with 10 offices - USPTO, JPO, UKIPO, DPMA, DKPTO, ROSPATENT, SPTO, CIPO, NBPR and SIPO - which are handling over 70 percent of all the patent applications worldwide.

Director General Yeonho Kim of the Electric & Electronic Examination Bureau of KIPO stated, ˇ°The sharing of examination results via the PPH scheme will greatly help innovative enterprises equipped with technology and ideas expand their global business and IP strategies.ˇ± He continued, ˇ°However, the PPH does not mean the examination results of the partner offices are automatically accepted. Under the PPH network, all participating offices are exposed to the severe competition of examination quality.ˇ±

<Obtained from the website of KIPO (; posted on March 8, 2012>