As apprised in our earlier news alert of November 2019, the Government of India had implemented a pilot patent prosecution highway (PPH) program between India and Japan. The number of PPH applications per year were capped at 100 applications (subject to review on March 31, 2020). The Indian Patent Office (IPO) had stopped accepting PPH requests after the cap of 100 applications was reached.
The IPO has now issued a notification dated February 25, 2020 wherein it has been notified that the IPO will begin accepting PPH requests from March 9, 2020. However, the number of requests will be limited to 44.
This opportunity has opened up since only 56 requests (out of the earlier 100 applications) could pass muster of formal scrutiny by the IPO, while 44 requests were not found eligible as per the PPH guidelines.
The IPO will start accepting 44 PPH application on a first-come-first-served basis under Chapter 5 of the PPH Guidelines from 9th March 2020.
The formal guidelines enlisting the requirements for filing a PPH application can be accessed here.