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Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH)

Purpose of the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH)

PPH written in capitals

The purpose of the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) is to speed up processing of patent applications through the exchange und mutual use of work products.

In order to request accelerated examination under the PPH, it is required that a corresponding application has been filed with a PPH partner office and that the PPH partner office has found at least one patent claim patentable. In such case, the offices exchange their work products and search results for mutual use without being bound by prior work products.

This will make the patent examination procedure more efficient and improve quality of examination.

Participation in the PPH is free of charge at the DPMA.

Global Patent Prosecution Highway (GPPH)

On 6 January 2014, the Global PPH pilot has been launched. The Global Patent Prosecution Highway (GPPH) is a multilateral pilot programme in which all national and regional patent offices can take part. Currently, there are 24 patent authorities involved in the GPPH (status: 6 July 2017).

Within the framework of the GPPH, a PPH request based on a work product of a participating office may be filed with any other office involved in the GPPH. The requests can be made under the same requirements for all patent authorities. This harmonisation will make use of the PPH easier and thus more attractive for the applicants.

On 6 July 2015, the DPMA has joined the Global PPH pilot. A list of all participating offices is available in Annex A of the Framework Provisions for the GPPH System.

The Global PPH pilot supersedes the exisiting bilateral PPH agreements of the DPMA with

  • the Japan Patent Office (JPO)
  • the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
  • the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO)
  • the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO)
  • the Intellectual Property Office of the United Kingdom (UK IPO)
  • the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH)
  • the Austrian Patent Office (APO)
  • the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS)

Requests for participation in the PPH on the basis of a work product of these offices must now be made according to the provisions of the GPPH.

The GPPH is based on the principle of PCT-PPH. In contrast to the existing bilateral PPH pilots of the DPMA, a PPH request at the DPMA within the framework of the GPPH may also be based on a PCT work product (written opinion of the International Searching Authority or International Preliminary Examining Authority and international preliminary examination report).

Through the DPMA's joining the GPPH, the applicants at the DPMA enjoy the following benefits: they can now file a PPH request with one of the GPPH partner offices already on the basis of an extended search report of the DPMA if all claims are considered to be allowable.

The request form for participation in the Global PPH pilot and detailed requirements are available here:

Here is a list of the work products of the patent authorities participating in the GPPH on which a PPH request can be based within the framework of the GPPH:

DPMA - SIPO (China)

Since 23 January 2012, the DPMA has been running a bilateral PPH pilot with the State Intellectual Property Office of the People's Republic of China (SIPO). It will be continued because SIPO is not involved in the GPPH.

The request form and the guidelines for participation in the pilot with SIPO as well as information from SIPO are available here:

PPH User Seminar at the DPMA on 22 July 2014

On 22 July 2014, an international user seminar on the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) took place at the DPMA. DPMA President Cornelia Rudloff-Schäffer as well as representatives of the patent offices of Austria, China, Finland, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States of America reported on current trends and issues concerning the PPH.

The presentations of all offices are available for download here:
pdf- Datei APO (Austria), pdf- Datei (1,46 MB) SIPO (China), pdf- Datei PRH (Finland), pdf- Datei (1,25 MB) JPO (Japan), pdf- Datei (1,41 MB) KIPO (Republic of Korea), pdf- Datei IPOS (Singapore), pdf- Datei UKIPO (United Kingdom), pdf- Datei USPTO (United States of America), pdf- Datei DPMA (Germany)

Further information

If you have any questions, you are welcome to send us an e-mail (PPH.Info@dpma.de).

© 2016 Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt | Last updated 22/08/17