IP5 Patent Prosecution Highway Pilot Programme Commences

The State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO) and the world's other four major intellectual property offices (together IP5), namely, the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO),  and the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), reached an agreement in September 2013 for the launch of a comprehensive IP5 Patent Prosecution Highway (IP5 PPH) pilot programme to accelerate examination of patent applications filed with the offices.
The pilot programme has commenced as of 6 January 2014 and will run for three years until 5 January 2017. This pilot period is subject to extension if it is necessary for any of the IP5 offices to adequately assess the feasibility of the PPH programme, and may be terminated if the volume of participation exceeds manageable level.
SIPO has recently published guidelines (http://www.sipo.gov.cn/ztzl/ywzt/pph/zn/201401/P020140103544541451093.pdf) on filing request with SIPO for participating in the pilot programme, including the requirements for eligibility of the request, documents to submit, and relevant procedures.