The Norwegian Industrial Property Office (NIPO) has previously entered into agreements with both the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), to implement pilot programmes for the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH). Both agreements lasts indefinitely.
Beginning 6th January 2014, 13 patent authorities are piloting a Global PPH. NIPO and Nordic Patent Institute er amongst these. Other participating offices of interest for Norwegian applicants are IP Australia, ROSPATENT (Russia) and KIPO (South Korea). USPTO and JPO are also involved in Global PPH.
A PPH agreement allows a patent applicant to request an accelerated examination of the application, if a favourable report has already been received for corresponding claims from a previous patent authority. The second authority may then reuse these search and examination results. This enables the second authority to carry out a faster examination of the application because the process can start at a more informed level than is otherwise the case. An independent national examination will however still be carried out according to national legislation and practice.
PPH is voluntary for patent applicants. No fee is charged in Norway.
The PPH speeds up the examination process, enabling it to start at a more informed level than is otherwise the case. Nor is it necessary for the patent authority to enter into so much correspondence with the applicant, which again leads to lower costs. A PPH ensures greater predictability concerning the outcome of the application, and a decision can be reached faster.
For patent authorities PPH means less duplication of work and more effective examination procedures. It also contributes to improving the quality of patentability assessments and reducing the backlog of patent applications.
Due to increased globalisation, there is a growing need for applicants to be able to apply for a patent for the same invention in several countries at the same time. This means that patent authorities all over the world often carry out parallel examinations.
PPH was established to meet the applicant’s need for an accelerated examination process, while at the same time enabling patent authorities to cooperate with each other to ensure the quality and effectiveness of examination procedures.
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