Canada’s pilot Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) agreements with Finland, Germany and Spain were set to expire on September 30, 2012. The agreements have now been extended for an additional two years, and will expire on September 30, 2014. Canada entered into pilot PPH agreements with Finland, Germany and Spain on October 1, 2010.
The PPH project allows a patent applicant to request the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) for accelerated examination of the patent. To qualify for prioritized examination under the PPH the patent applicant must have an application corresponding to the Canadian application before the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) of a partner Country. Additionally, the partner Country’s IPO must have determined at least one claim of the corresponding application to be allowable. The examination of the Canadian application will still occur in accordance with the Canadian Patent Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. P-4 and the Patent Rules SOR/96-423.
Canada currently has one PPH agreement with the United States, and four additional pilot PPH agreements with Denmark, Japan, Korea, and the United Kingdom. Accelerated examination under the PPH may also be sought under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) where CIPO is the designated International Searching Authority and/or International Preliminary Examining Authority.