Global patent pilot set to cut time and costs

The UK has joined a new pilot scheme designed to cut the time and cost in seeking patent applications in key global markets.

The Global Patent Prosecution Highway (GPPH) pilot was launched on 6 January by 17 international intellectual property offices, including the UK Intellectual Property Office.

The new pilot will work in a similar way to existing bilateral Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) agreements between two patent offices. Applicants who have had a set of claims allowed by one of the 17 participating office will be able to ask that pending applications at any or all of the other participating offices be accelerated.

The move is designed to make the process simpler, help cut the time and cost of seeking patent protection in key global markets and also help reduce the global problem of patent backlogs.

Intellectual Property Minister Lord Younger said: “The real benefit is to businesses and other applicants, who will see patents handled more quickly and efficiently across global markets. This will reduce complexity and time and cut costs.”

The UK has existing bilateral PPH arrangements in place with the United States, Japan, South Korea, Germany, and Canada. Of these, those with the United States, Japan, South Korea and Canada will be superseded by the GPPH for the duration of the pilot.

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