The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) speeds up the examination process for corresponding applications filed in participating countries by allowing examiners to reuse search and examination results.
Under the PPH program, an applicant receiving a ruling from the Office of First Filing (OFF) that at least one claim is patentable may request that the Office of Second Filing (OSF) fast track the examination of corresponding claims in corresponding applications filed in the OSF. The PPH will leverage fast-track examination procedures already available in the OSF to allow applicants to obtain patents faster and more efficiently. For example, the OSF can use the OFF’s work products – such as allowances or search reports – to streamline patent processing.
Benefits to the PPH include:
- Accelerated Examination: Examination within two to three months from the grant of the PPH request provided the application has completed all its pre-exam processing and is ready for examination.
- Greater Efficiency: More than 90 percent of PPH cases are allowed. The allowance rate for non-PPH cases is less than 50 percent.
- Decreased Costs of Prosecution: On average, PPH cases have fewer actions per disposal when compared to non-PPH cases saving both applicants and Offices time and expense.
- Reduced Pendency: PPH enables applications filed in multiple jurisdictions to be fast tracked based on another Office’s work product.
- No Petition Fee: The USPTO eliminated the petition fee in May 2010 making PPH even more cost effective for users.
List of countries and PCT offices that participate under the PPH.