PCT-PPH Pilot Program between the Japan Patent Office and Nordic Patent Institute

During a meeting in Geneva on 29 September the Commissioner of the Japan Patent Office, Mr. Yoshiyuki Iwai and the Director of Nordic Patent Institute, Mrs. Lone Hartung Nielsen, signed a joint Statement of Intent to commence a "Patent Prosecution Highway" (PPH) pilot program based on Patent Cooperation Treaty work products.

The basic concept of the program is that where Nordic Patent Institute, acting as the International Authority has determined that one or more claims of a patent application is/are allowable in the international phase (ISA/WO or IPRP), the applicant will be entitled to the benefit of an accelerated examination before the Japan Patent Office in the national phase for the corresponding application, provided that certain conditions are met.

The pilot program started on 1 October 2011.

The pilot program is a welcome addition to the PCT-PPH program Nordic Patent Institute and the USPTO started earlier this year, providing the Nordic Patent Institute's users the possibility to accelerate their patent applications in the world's most important markets.