The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) announced on August 27, 2015 that the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program with the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (“SIPO”) has been extended for another three years, until August 31, 2018.
Under the CIPO-SIPO PPH Pilot program, applicants whose claims have been found to be patentable by either CIPO or SIPO can request accelerated processing of their corresponding applications that are pending before the other office. The program facilitates the sharing of information on existing work results between CIPO and SIPO, including SIPO national and Patent Cooperation Treaty work products.
An applicant can file a request for accelerated examination under the PPH to CIPO by submitting a completed PPH request form and the required documents by mail, fax, or electronically through the Industry Canada website. At present, regular fees for requesting examination will apply, without additional fees for advanced prosecution.
PPH requests will be considered by an Examiner and, if all requirements are met, the Examiner will conduct an accelerated examination. Claims will need to be filed or have entered the national phase at CIPO, and correspond sufficiently with one or more of the claims indicated as allowable under the PPH Agreement in order for a request for accelerated examination to be granted.
The CIPO and SIPO PPH Pilot is an important development for innovative Canadian businesses seeking to extend their patent protections into the Chinese market, and will contribute to increasing Canada’s status as an attractive jurisdiction for patent applications.