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Reviewed 10 March 2010

UK and Japan pave the way for a permanent Patent Prosecution Highway

More businesses are set to benefit from faster patenting in the UK and Japan as the current pilot Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) scheme between these two countries will be made permanent. This was announced today by David Lammy, Minister for Intellectual Property and Deputy Commissioner Minami of the Japan Patent Office.

The PPH helps businesses and patent offices by streamlining the often lengthy and costly process of obtaining patent protection. Once an applicant has received a favourable decision from one office they can request accelerated processing of corresponding patent applications filed in the other. This significantly speeds up the process of getting a patent.

David Lammy said: "Backlogs are a big and unnecessary financial headache for businesses and create significant delays in the system, which we are determined to cut down.

"The Patent Prosecution Highway is a cheaper and more efficient way of reducing duplication and speeding up the applications process. This agreement will ensure that UK and Japanese businesses can have faster, cost effective and high quality patent protection.

"A permanent deal with Japan further strengthens the relationship between our countries, and demonstrates our shared commitment to improving the global patent system."

Deputy Commissioner Minami of the Japan Patent Office said: "The permanent PPH agreement will help both offices to stimulate and reward invention and innovation; helping Japanese and UK industries to acquire patents in a fast and convenient manner. The agreement is another significant step towards streamlining international patent prosecution and enhancing the global patent prosecution highway network."

The development of work sharing arrangements between the Intellectual Property Office and other national patent offices is a key recommendation of the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property.

Notes to editors

  • The Intellectual Property Office is within the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and is responsible for the national framework of Intellectual Property rights, comprising patents, designs, trade marks and copyright.
  • Intellectual Property plays a central role in translating innovation and creativity into economic growth and social benefit.
  • The IPO currently also has Patent Prosecution Highway pilot agreements with the US Patent and Trademark Office and the Korean Intellectual Property Office.
  • A copy of the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property External Link is available.

Date of release: 10 March 2010

See Also

  • Patent Prosecution Highway between the UK and Japan