Hanoi, Vietnam – The Intellectual Property Office of Vietnam (IP Vietnam) has recently announced its receipt of requests for accelerated examination of patent applications under the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) program between IP Vietnam and the Japanese Patent Office (特許庁, Tokkyochō, JPO – a Japanese governmental agency in charge of industrial property right affairs, under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan) from 1 April 2023 to 30 September 2023.
Accordingly, by the end of 30 September 2023, IP Vietnam had received 72 requests for accelerated examination of patent applications under the PPH program for the period from 1 April 2023 to 30 September 2023 under the Cooperation Agreement between IP Vietnam and JPO. During the period from 1 October 2023 to 31 March 2024, IP Vietnam will receive 128 PPH requests.
As you may be aware, PPH under the said Cooperation Agreement is a program to fast-track patent examination. It allows you to request accelerated examination of a Vietnamese application if the claims have been deemed patentable/allowable by JPO. At the same time, it enables IP Vietnam to re-use the work done at JPO. In the meantime, in Japan, PPH enables an application whose claims have been determined to be patentable in the Office of First Filing (OFF) to undergo an accelerated examination in the Office of Second Filing (OSF) with a simple procedure upon a request from an applicant on the basis of bilateral office agreements.
Generally speaking, under a PPH program, participating patent offices have agreed that when an applicant receives a ruling from a first patent office that at least one claim is allowable, the applicant may request fast track examination of corresponding claim(s) in a corresponding patent application that is pending in a second patent office. Unlike Track One, where the examiner has an incentive to either allow ridiculously narrow claims or kick you out of the program, PPH means you can leverage the examiner’s knowledge and experience to help you.