In the Philippines, a patent examination can be an extremely tedious process depending on the technology of the invention sought for protection. It may take 3 to 5 years from filing or national-phase entry of the application to the patent being granted. But in a certain situations where the applicant may eagerly need the patent application to be granted faster, for example, when the applicant wants to take action against a potential infringer but cannot commence for the sole reason that the application is still pending, the applicants can accelerate the examination of the application with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) by filing a request for an accelerated examination under the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) programme.
Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) Programme
The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) is a work-sharing initiative that provides patent applicants whose applications have been determined allowable by a Patent Office are entitled to request, through a simple procedure, for accelerated examination of the corresponding applications in another Patent Office.
The IPOPHL currently operates the PPH on a bilateral basis with the Japan Patent Office (JPO), United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), and European Patent Office (EPO).
Benefits of PPH
Applicants can benefit from faster prosecution of their applications and acquisition of higher quality patent rights.
Eligibility for PPH
The following set of minimum eligibilities is the same for all of IPOPHL’s existing PPH Bilateral Programs:
- IPOPHL application shall have the same earliest date (whether priority or filing date) with the corresponding application in the PPH partner Office;
- At least one or more claims are determined as patentable/allowable in the corresponding application in the PPH partner Office;
- All claims in the application being sought for PPH participation must “sufficiently correspond” to one or more patentable/allowable claims in the PPH partner Office; and
- Examination on the merits of the corresponding application in IPOPHL has not been made yet.
Request to fast track the examination of your patent application at IPOPHL, based on the work products from any of IPOPHL’s PPH Partners, by submitting the following:
- A PPH request form;
- a copy of the latest international work product issued by the OEE, which indicates the claims to be patentable/allowable, and their English translations if they are not in English;
- a copy of a set of claims that the latest international work product of the corresponding application indicates to be patentable/allowable, and their English translations if they are not in English;
- a copy of references cited in the latest international work product of the international application corresponding to the application; and
- a claim correspondence table.
If you would like to find out more about the PPH, please do not hesitate to contact us here or you may download our Philippines IP Handbook here for free.
Sources: https://www.ipophil.gov.ph/patent-prosecution-highway-pph/ & https://law.asia/patent-exam-queue-philippines/