Patents can only get protection in the applicant countries or regions. Foreign patents must be applied to the National Intellectual Property Administration of China (CNIPA) to get protection in China. Luckily, patent prosecution highway (PPH) has been introduced into China.
The introduction of PPH
The PPH enables an application whose claims have been determined to be patentable in the Office of First Filing (OFF) to undergo an accelerated examination in the Office of Second Filing (OSF) with a simple procedure upon a request from an applicant on the basis of bilateral office agreements. The purpose of the PPH is to facilitate an applicant's acquisition of a patent at an early stage worldwide and to enhance the utilization of search and examination results between the IP Offices so as to reduce the burden of examination and to enhance the quality of examination worldwide.
The advantage of PPH
PPH has three main advantages:
Firstly, the application’s examination will be accelerated, according to the official website of PPH, two third of the average examination time can be reduced through PPH.
The second advantage is that PPH effectively enhances the average rate of authorization. According to the official website of PPH, the average rate of authorization increased from 53 percent to 88 percent by using the PPH.
Lastly, using PPH can also reduce the cost of the application; there is no need to pay the PPH request fee in OSFs except KIPO. And because PPH reduces the number of notifications, the related cost also gets decreased.
Request to CNIPA for accelerated examination under the PPH
The CNIPA application for which the PPH request is made, and the Office of Earlier Examination (OEE) application(s) forming the basis of the PPH request, shall be corresponding patent applications.
At least one corresponding application in the OEE has one or more claims that are determined to be allowable by the OEE.
All claims on the file as originally filed or as amended, for examination under the PPH must sufficiently correspond to one or more of those claims indicated as allowable in the OEE.
The CNIPA application is open to public inspection.
CNIPA has received a request for examination but has not began examining the application.
Required documents for accelerated examination under the PPH
The PPH request form
Copies and translations of all the documents of the OFF’s examination
Copies and translations of all the rights and requirements which were authorized by the OFF
Copies of prior technology cited by reviewers
Claim correspondence table
The PPH projects in China
There are 26 PPH projects are being carried out by China National Intellectual Property Administration with other 25 countries which include the United States, Japan and Germany.