Japan-India Patent Prosecution Highway to Start in The First Quarter of Next Fiscal Year

At the Japan-India Summit Meeting on October 29, the prime ministers from each country agreed to start a trial run for the Japan-India Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) in the first quarter of 2019 for certain specified inventive fields. With respect to the applications that have been registered in Japan, applicants can register their patents early in India by applying to use the PPH, and enabling the promotion of smooth business development.

Before deciding to institute this trial run, the Japan Patent Office had signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MCI), India in June 2015, which has been allowing the countries to promote the development of an environment that enables applicants in Japan to register intellectual property rights quickly in India. In the lead up to this agreement signed by the prime ministers, the JPO and DIPP, MCI discussed establishing a PPH trial run in the hopes that it would lead to a permanent agreement.

With the addition of India, the numbers of countries and regions in which Japan is able to file under the PPH will be 43. In the future, the JPO plans on continuing to expand the number of countries with whom they have PPH agreements and plans on supporting Japanese Companies’ rapid acquisition of rights overseas by making efforts to standardize and simplify application procedures with foreign patent offices.