The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) is a JPO proposal aimed at utilising accelerated examination in each Office to ensure the timely obtaining of search and examination results so as to improve quality and promote the mutual exploitation of work results between patent offices.
The PPH was established to enable an applicant whose claims are determined to be patentable/allowable in the Office of first filing (OFF) to have the corresponding application filed in the Office of second filing (OSF) advanced out of turn for examination while at the same time allowing the OSF to exploit the work results of the OFF.
The USPTO and the JPO confirm that they will implement the PPH on a permanent basis at the conclusion of the pilot.
The PPH pilot programme commenced on 29 September 2008, for a period of one year ending on 29 September 2009. The trial period may be extended for up to an additional year if necessary to adequately assess the feasibility of the PPH programme.
The EPO and the USPTO will evaluate the results of the pilot programme to determine whether and how the programme should be fully implemented after the trial period.