Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) has been an available to applicants in Iceland since 2011. The main goal of PPH co-operation is to accelerate examination of patent applications. By filing a simple request, applicants obtain accelerated processing of a co-pending application at an office acting as Office of Later Examination (OLE), provided that one or more of the claims in an earlier application are indicated to be patentable in the latest office action by the Office of Earlier Examination (OEE). The OLE is, however, not obliged to base grant of a patent on the former examination. The procedure includes that the OLE will make, as possible, use of the examination already performed.
Accelerated examination based on PPH is always at the applicant's choice – the procedure in Iceland is free of charge.
On 6 January 2014 a total of 17 Patent Offices, the Icelandic Patent Office (IPO) and Nordic Patent Institute (NPI) included, launched a Global Patent Prosecution Highway (GPPH) arrangement for both national and PCT-PPH routes. On 6 July 2020 the total number of participating GPPH offices reached 27. These are:
Australia, Austria (APO), Canada (CIPO), Chile (INAPI), Denmark (DKPTO), Estonia (EPA), Finland (PRH), Germany (DPMA), Hungary (HIPO), Iceland (IPO), Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ), Israel (ILPO), Japan (JPO), Korea (KIPO), Nordic Patent Institute (NPI), Norway (NIPO), Peru (INDECOPI), Poland (PPO), Portugal (INPI), Russia (ROSPATENT), Singapore (IPOS), Spain (SPTO), Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (SIC), Sweden (PRV), United Kingdom (IPO), United States (USPTO), Visegrad Patent Institute (VPI).
On 1 July 2014 the IPO and SIPO, now CNIPA launched a pilot PPH project between the two offices for a period of two years, with now has been extended until 30 June 2024. The pilot programme includes a two-way national PPH route and a one-way PCT-PPH route, namely, for Chinese applicants filing in Iceland.
Information on the common criteria and requirements of the GPPH may be accessed on the Patent Prosecution Highway Portal, which is hosted by the Japanese Patent Office.
Information on the requirements for filing a PPH request in China is available here.
Guidelines and forms for all procedures in Iceland are available below.
Note that different guidelines and forms apply for Chinese applicants then applicants from GPPH participating offices.