12/12/2001
by: Joseph Page
Topic Views: 1859

Patent Prosecution Highway

Cooperation between national patent offices

Patent Prosecution Highway

What is the 'Patent Prosecution Highway'?

      The 'Patent Prosecution Highway' PPH is a system used by certain related national patent offices to speed patent application processing. The Patent Prosecution Highway is an important tool used to accelerate examinations of patent applications where a corresponding patnet application in a partner foreign patent office has received a favorable examination. If an examination is a first patent office yields patentable claims, the you may speed up examinations pending in other participating patent offices. For example, if the Russian patent office indicates allowable claims, in a copending application, an applicant may request the (PPH request) United States patent office to examine a similar patent application out of turn in an expedited examination process.

Participant Nations in the Patent Prosecution Highway

      Presently, several countries are partners together for purposes of expediting patent examination via the Patent Prosecution Highway. Countries presently having patent prosecution highway agreements include: Australia, Canada, Denmark, European Patent Office, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Russia, Singapore, United Kingdom, and the United States.

You May Qualify for Expedited Examination

      If you have a patent application for the same invention pending more than one of these nations and you receive at least one allowable claim in a PPH nation, you may ask for accelerated patent examination the other nations. In this way, you can speed up your applications which are part of an international patent strategy.
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Patent Services Header Intellectual Property Patent Agent, patent attorney Patent Topic: "Patent Prosecution Highway" Patent Attorney Invention HOME IP Tip: #8
While it has long been the case that algorithms per se are not patentable, computer software is not under the same restriction.  Computer software and in particular computer software related to business methods have been under some serious judicial review of late.  The final result from the United States Supreme Court: computer software is largely patentable in re Bilski.  Further, European national courts seem to be taking the same position more each day as might be illustrated by the high German court ruling which upheld a major Microsoft patent recently. Patent Attorney, Patent law Software Patents - Bilski
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