The Japan Patent Office (JPO) continues to open up avenues for patent examination result sharing with the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) for markets around the globe. This coming April 2019, it and its Brazilian counterpart INPI will be increasing the number of technological fields where these two patent offices accept PPH route applications for accelerated examinations.
For nearly two years, since April 2017, the JPO and INPI have been running a trial of PPH and seeing examination times in Brazil cut to about one year for patent appications from Japan to Brazil in the accepted fields such as IT and mechanical (e.g. automobile) engineering.
Now, in view of requests for more fields to be covered, INPI is agreeing to offer the PPH route for applications in these fields: “macromolecular chemistry, metallurgy and materials, agrochemicals, microorganisms, and enzymes.” The JPO makes it possible for Brazil-based applications of any field to be examined via PPH accelerateed examination.
As this is a trial, the two patent offices are limiting the trial run to the earlier of the end of two years (i.e. through March 2021) or an aggregate number of two hundred applications between the two countries, and any one applicant may only request for PPH acceleration per month in the INPI. Japan, of course, hopes this will make Japanese applicants able to get their inventions patented and utilized in the large economy of Brazil sooner. The PPH program also has opened the way for Brazilian applicants, obviously, in more technical fields to begin business in Japan.
Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI), “Expansion of the Patent Prosecution Highway between Japan and Brazil,” January 16, 2019.
List of IPC classifications to be accepted: JPO announcement here.
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