IP5 offices agree on joint PPH pilot program
Geneva/Munich, 26 September 2013 -- The world's five largest Intellectual Property Offices (IP5) - the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the State Intellectual Property Office of the People's Republic of China (SIPO) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) - agreed to launch a comprehensive IP5 Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program as of January 2014. The program will utilize both PCT and national work products and will improve the accelerated treatment of patent applications. The PPH arrangements currently operational between the IP5 Offices will be integrated in this all-inclusive scheme.

Meeting in Geneva today, EPO President Benoît Battistelli, JPO Commissioner Hideo Hato, KIPO Commissioner Young-min Kim, SIPO Deputy Commissioner He Hua and the Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce and Deputy Director of the USPTO, Teresa Stanek Rea, endorsed a pilot program which leverages fast track patent examination procedures already in place at the IP5 in order to enable obtaining patents faster and more efficiently. Under the program, applicants whose patent claims have been found to be patentable by one office may ask for accelerated processing of their corresponding applications pending before the other IP5 offices. Moreover, in carrying out the task the offices concerned will also exploit already existing work results to the extent practicable. Requests to use the PPH can be filed with any of the IP5 Offices both on the basis of PCT as well as national work products established by the IP5.

<Obtained from the website of KIPO (http://www.kipo.go.kr/kpo/eng); posted on October 1, 2013>