Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) is an operational cooperation among the Intellectual Property Offices of different countries or regions to share results of examination.
Specifically, when at least one of the claims contained in a patent application submitted to an Office of First Filing (OFF) is deemed as patentable, the applicant is allowed to file a request for expediting the examination of the application to an Office of Second Filing (OSF).
China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) runs PPH pilot programs with multiple counties and regions, providing a feasibility of acceleration of substantive examination process.
If the examination result at the international stage (e.g. the International Search Report or Written Opinion) is made by Intellectual Property Office of Japan, the United States, Korea, Russia, Finland, Denmark, Mexico, Austria, Poland, Canada, Singapore, Portugal, Span, United Kingdom, Iceland, Sweden, Israel, Hungary, Czech Republic, Chile or Malaysia, or by the European Patent Office, or the first filing is made at one of these Intellectual Property Offices or the EPO, or at Intellectual Property Office of German, Egypt, Brazil or Argentina, or at Eurasian Patent Organization (EAPO), the applicant could file a request for expediting the examination of the application to the CNIPA.
If the CNIPA finds the PPH request qualified, a Notification of Acceptance of PPH Request will be issued in about one to two months and then the whole substantive examination proceedings will be accelerated.
Nevertheless, the Examiner in charge of substantive examination will still conduct independent search and review the application in accordance under Chinese patent law and practice.