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Acquisition of international patents between Korea and Japan to be shortened by more than a year
2012-06-13 13:32 2356
 [Reference]PCT-PPH.docx (0.03M) 113

June 07, 2012

Acquisition of international patents between Korea and Japan to be shortened
by more than a year

- Korea and Japan agree to execute an International Patent Prosecution Highway (PCT-PPH) -

Commissioner Ho-won Kim of the Korean Intellectual Property Office and Commissioner Yoshiyuki
Iwai of the Japan Patent Office signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the execution of a
pilot PCT-PPH between the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan. According to the agreement, the
ROK-Japan PCT-PPH is to be simultaneously executed in both countries starting from July 1.

l * Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH): Under the PPH, applications are given preferential
examination in the Office of Second Filing (OSF) based on the positive examination results from the
Office of First Filing (OFF). Korea has implemented the PPH program with a total of ten countries
including the United States, China, Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Finland, Russia,
Spain and Denmark; and plans to expand to Mexico on July 1, 2012.

l * Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT): To alleviate the burden of submitting separate patent
applications in individual countries, applications under the PCT are treated as if having been applied
for in the countries involved.

l * International Patent Prosecution Highway (PCT-PPH): Regarding the PCT-PPH, an application
under the PCT is given preferential examination if it has been decided as a possible patent at the
international level (currently executed with the United States and China).

For applicants using the PCT-PPH, the first action examination period in ROK and Japan is expected
to be shortened by more than a year.

l * Shortened first action examination period of PCT-PPH applications (2011) :

l 26.3→1.9 months (applications submitted to the Japan Patent Office)
l 16.8→2.2 months (applications submitted to KIPO)

l * First action examination period: Period from the date of examination request to the reporting of the
first opinion.

Commissioner Kim said, “The ROK-Japan PCT-PPH will complete Korea’s execution of the PCT-PPH
system with the three countries holding the greatest number of foreign applications by Korean
companies (the United States, China, and Japan), about 80 percent of the total foreign applications by
Koreans.” He continued, “KIPO will continue to expand cooperation for PPHs and PCT-PPHs with
many more countries to support Korean companies and applicants in the speedy acquisition of
patents abroad.”

l * Top three countries with multiple foreign applications by Korean companies (2010): United States
(about 26,000 applications), China (about 7,000), Japan (about 5,000) → about 80 percent of total
foreign applications by Korean companies (about 46,000)



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