China-Korea to Launch Patent Prosecution Highway Pilot Program


The State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) of China recently entered into an agreement with Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) to co-launch a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program on 1 March 2012. The program will last for a duration of one year and expire on 28 February 2013.
Under the program, an applicant may request for accelerated examination of a patent application with SIPO based on the work results of a relevant application with KIPO, and vice versa, provided that certain conditions are satisfied, including at least one claim being determined by the office of the earlier filing to be allowable, the claim(s) of the application being sufficiently correspondent to the allowable claim(s) of the relevant application, and the submission of copies of all the documents cited by the office of the earlier filing.
This PPH pilot program with KIPO, along with a similar arrangement with Japan Patent Office launched earlier this month, represent SIPO’s efforts to implement the national intellectual property strategy, and in particular, to help innovative enterprises secure their patent rights overseas in a shorter time frame.