The Patent Prosecution Highway (also referred to as the “PPH”)embodies numerous bilateral agreements between dozens of countries providing that an indication of allowable subject matter in one country may trigger accelerated examination in another country. The PPH has undergone several iterations in an effort to homogenize aspects of the agreements. Nonetheless, inter-jurisdictional variations in legal and procedural requirements remain a sticking point for many practitioners who view the PPH as unnecessarily onerous and convoluted.
A recent iteration implemented January 6, 2014, came in the form of two programs — the so-called Global Patent Prosecution Highway (Global PPH) that promises to standardize the agreements between 17 offices in 16 countries, as well as the IP5 that standardizes agreements between the United States, the European Patent Office (EPO), Japan, China and Korea.
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