The recent cooperation agreement between the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH) and the Eurasian Patent Office provides Finnish patent applications with a fast lane to Eurasian countries, says Kolster’s European Patent Attorney Marjut Honkasalo.
The Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH) and the Eurasian Patent Office (EAPO) launched a three-year Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot phase at the beginning of August. This means good things for patent applicants who have filed Finnish patent applications, as the cooperation expands the possibilities to apply for a patent with expedited processing also to countries covered by the Eurasian Patent Convention: Turkmenistan, Belarus, Tajikistan, Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia. Similarly to the European Patent Office, a single application can be used to apply for a patent through EAPO in the countries covered by the convention.
The Patent Prosecution Highway, or PPH, is a fast lane in the processing of patent applications. Following an approved PPH request, the patent application will be processed on an expedited basis until the final result.
“For patent applicants, the PPH agreement is a faster and more efficient way than usual to have a patent corresponding to the first application granted in another office as well. The system is also intended to reduce overlapping examination work in the patent offices of different countries”, European Patent Attorney Marjut Honkasalo says.
Once PRH finds that the claims of the patent application it has examined are allowable, PPH processing can be requested for a corresponding application at the Eurasian Patent Office. Similarly, it is possible to request expedited processing at PRH for an application corresponding to one approved by EAPO. Under the agreement between PRH and EAPO, the applications can be either national patent applications or international PCT applications.
“The PPH agreement has many benefits for patent applicants. If the applicant’s application is processed in English at the PRH, the official actions of the PPH request do not need to be translated. Taking advantage of the PPH agreement may also increase the likelihood of favourable official actions, as well as speed up and reduce the number of official actions issued during the proceedings, thus saving the applicant both time and money”, Honkasalo says.
The Finnish Patent and Registration Office is part of the Global PPH group and has thus entered into a PPH agreement with the patent offices of several countries, including the United States, Canada and Japan. Last year, a total of 95 PPH requests were filed from Finland. The majority of them were for the United States, with China as the second most common target country.