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The Indian Patent Office (‘IPO’) and the Japan Patent Office (‘JPO’) have jointly embarked on a Bilateral Patent Prosecution Highway (‘PPH’) pilot program (the ‘PPH program’). Pursuant thereto, applicants can request for expedited examination by complying with the stipulated procedure.

Applicants need to bear in mind the following:

  1. The number of requests accepted by the IPO under the PPH program will be limited to 100 cases per year, on a first-come first-served basis;
  2. An applicant, who has filed a patent application (either alone or jointly with any other applicant) shall not file more than 10 PPH requests with the IPO each year;
  3. Requests for assigning special status for expedited examination under the PPH program is required to be filed online in the prescribed Form 5-1 under Chapter 5 of the PPH Guidelines;
  4. Applicants (and/ or their authorized agents) can file the request for expedited examination using Form 18A only after the request for assigning of the said special status is accepted by the IPO;
  5. The decision with respect to the acceptance, rejection or any defects in relation to the said requests filed under the PPH program shall be communicated to the applicants/ their authorized agents, through email as well as through a message on the IPO’s e-filing portal;
  6. In case of any defects in the Form 5-1 filed, the applicants will be provided with an opportunity to rectify the same within 30 days from the date of issuance of a Notification to that effect. Be that as it may, the timeline for filing a request for expedited examination shall be as prescribed under the Patents Rules, 2003 (as amended).