Patent Prosecution Highway

Sep 112019
Patent Prosecution Highway

Filing a patent involves a lot of complexities including your valuable time, efforts and money. It can be a long process but everything about it is worth when it comes to results. Filing a patent does not make your idea secured in the current time, it also makes sure that it is safe for the coming years. No matter if you are an already established firm or an entrepreneur starting to step in the market, filing a patent has always its advantages. Hiring a competent Patent Attorney in India can do wonders for your business and you are good to go.

What exactly is Patent Prosecution Highway or PPH?

We have always thought of the patent filing process in the perspective of the filer but never think about how the patent authority manages so many patent requests and process them at a minimum time to save their time as well saves time for the applicants. There are millions of patents being filed every year and it becomes very difficult for the patent offices to effectively process their applications as the backend process is still not streamlined to an extent to save a lot of time and effort.

Keeping in mind the huge flow of patent applications, a mechanism has been introduced that reduces the huge workload on the patent offices and expedites the whole process thus resulting in faster results which is beneficial to both the applicants a well to the people managing the applications.

One of the key things that take most of the time for the offices to effectively manage the filing applications is the search and examination process. It requires a lot of time and effort and has to be done every time an applicant files a patent. Patent Prosecution Highway accelerates the Patent Prosecution procedures by sharing the patent search and examination results (that takes most of the time and efforts) between the two offices so that these examinations and searches must not be conducted again and again. Offices registered under the PPH program can share these results and get benefitted by saving a lot of time and effort by reducing redundancy of the process.

How is PPH useful for the applicants

One of the very obvious reasons why PPH is useful for the applicants is that if the offices will take less time to process the applications, time of the applicant would be saved automatically which will be a huge benefit in the business as time is always the key when you are in the market with an idea. Also, instead of hiring a Patent Attorney in India which surely adds a bit of extra cost to the business, you can go with the PPH offices and that money could be saved. 

Also, one of the direct benefits of PPH arrives when you want to apply for a patent globally or for more than one territory. For example, you have obtained a positive result in one territory and want to apply for a patent in another territory where, the same sort of examination is required, the patent office from one territory where you have passed the examination will forward the results to the territory where you are supposed to appear for the examination and you will not be required to appear again for the same examination in the second territory. In this way, your patent application will be accelerated and will help you to get a quick grant of patent.

Advantages of implementing PPH

Although there are many advantages of implementing PPH, some of them are discussed below.

  • Implementing PPH reduces the involvement and processes of a few offices in the middle which takes you directly to the one which is granting the patent
  • A lot of cost, effort and time is saved which proves to be a key factor, especially when you are an entrepreneur and cannot afford to invest a lot of time and money into these things.
  • The Process, as well as the formalities involved in the process, are reduced which is very helpful in saving you from mental and physical exhaustments.
  • PPH becomes extremely helpful if you are planning to file a patent globally as the same exam results are exchanged between the international offices which saves time.
  • Faster grant of patents attracts other firms as well who just do not go for patents only because they see it as time-consuming and costly. This will indirectly generate economy and job opportunities for people as more resources would be required with the increase in the number of patent applications
  • The workload would be divided equally amongst employees as the process would be streamlined and smooth.

Global Implementation PPH

When patent offices around the world, implement PPH, the process of filing patents become much easier and granting of patents are positively affected by it. USPTO has extended its PPH program to many countries and almost all of them are a part of the PPH program now. Countries like Canada, Mexico, Germany, Australia, Hungary, Taiwan and many others are in agreement with the Patent Prosecution Highway program and are successfully benefiting themselves as well as their applicants every day.

As per the PPH law, the second office would accept the reports from the first office not directly but with only minimum examination and searches which will save a lot of time and avoid repetitive formalities. Offices under PPH agreement benefit each other mutually and they have seen a considerable growth in the number of patent applications on day-to-day basis.

In India, patent filing and prosecution is governed by the Patent Act of 1970 and the Patent Rules of 2003. Under the Patent Act of 1970, a user can do e-filing of patents which enables online filing of patents. This is user-friendly, easy and a lot more transparent as compared to manual filing of patents.

When it comes to filing a patent, it can be filed by an applicant, Patent Attorneys in India who work individually or work for Patent Law firms, and also by Patent Agents and Lawyers in India.

Whether filed with provisional or complete specifications, the term of every patent is 20 years from the date of filing it unless the filing is done under the PCT act. Unde the PCT act, the 20 years term begins from the International filing date which has been accorded under the act.

Trademark in India according to the Trademark law, grants the owner of the mark, an exclusive right to identify good produced or the services rendered by it. There are many advantages of filing a trademark in the business which motivates businesses across the world to file trademarks on their products or services.

The first Trademark law was passed in the year 1940 in India which was similar to English laws and precedents. Later on, considering the augmentations in the trade and commerce, a need was felt to amend certain points in the law and in the year 1958, Trademark and Merchandise Act was introduced. Further, to speed up the disposal of appeals and rectification applications and with few other important amendments, in the year 1999, Trademark Act was passed which came into effect in September 2003. Finally, Trademark act 2010 was introduced with further improvements which is in practice till now.

Conclusion

Patent Prosecution Highway program is useful to almost all the offices as well as to the firms wanting a grant of patents faster. Only a few businesses who either want to wait for some time to establish themselves in the market or want to gain financial stability before filing a patent would not find this program useful for themselves. The way PPH is gaining popularity worldwide, it is very much possible that all the offices in the world would adopt this program sooner or later.

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dpadmin
Ketana Babaria Ms. Ketana Babaria, an advocate and registered patent Agent M. Sc. LL.B PGO-IBM, is of 20 years experience in the field of IPR, worked for generics and giants now leads a team, handling all aspects of patent and legal matters related to the pharmaceutical & non-pharmaceutical.

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