Developments on Patent Prosecution Highway
The Union Cabinet on November 20, 2019 approved the proposal for adoption of Patent Prosecution Highway (hereinafter referred to as ‘PPH’) programme by the Indian Patent Office (hereinafter referred to as ‘IPO’) under the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks, India (CGPDTM) in collaboration with Patent offices of various other countries and regions.
A significant growth has been witnessed in number of patent applications received by the Patent Offices across the world. One of the major catalyst in this growth is globalization in sectors like commerce, technology, education etc. Same patents being filed in multiple countries has forced patent offices to come together and work in cooperation with each other. Large number of pending patents and a bid to increasing productivity has encouraged Patent offices to work together by opting for the avenue of Patent Prosecution Highway (hereinafter referred to as ‘PPH’).
PPH helps in speeding up the process of examination for corresponding applications in the IP offices involved. As per the PPH programme, the participating patent offices agree that when claims in an application is allowed by the first patent office, the applicant can request for speedy examination of corresponding claims in an application that is pending in the second patent office. PPH helps in reaching the final disposition of a patent application more speedily and efficiently than the normal procedure.
The India’s PPH programme will at first commence between the Japan patent Office (hereinafter referred to as ‘JPO’) and IPO for an initial period of three years. The Pilot programme will allow the Indian Patent Office to receive patent applications only in some specified technical fields:
- Computer Sciences
- Information Technology
However, the JPO may receive applications in all fields of technology.
The Commerce and Industry Ministry of India has decided that the scope of the programme may be extended in the future. Their own guidelines for implementation of the programme will be framed by the patent offices.