IPONZ Loosens GPPH Practice
IPONZ has announced some applicant friendly changes to its practice in respect of Global Patent Prosecution Highway (GPPH) program, which allows accelerated examination of qualifying applications that have already had at least one claim found to be allowable by an IPO of a GPPH member...
As previously noted IPONZ joined the GPPH network in July 2017, and requires that the application from the Office of Earlier Examination (OEE) and the application for which IPONZ has been requested to examine under the terms of the GPPH have the same earliest date. Further, all claims presented for examination under the GPPH must sufficiently correspond to one or more of the claims found allowable by the OEE.
IPONZ is now exercising more leniency in its application of the ‘sufficiently correspond’ criterion. In particular, IPONZ will now consider Swiss-style claims to correspond to other formats of second medical use claims allowed overseas.
Further, if a submitted GPPH accelerated examination request does not meet mandatory filing requirements IPONZ will now seek clarification or request further documents, instead of declining the request outright. The requestor will then have 10 working days within which to provide an acceptable response, failing which the request for accelerated examination under the GPPH will be declined.
In addition to the previously noted 22 IPOs (including one intergovernmental organisation) that were members of the GPPH when New Zealand joined, the GPPH has since been supplemented by the IPOs of Columbia, Peru and the Visegrad Patent Institute. The latter is an intergovernmental organization for cooperation in the field of patents established by the four Visegrad countries: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and the Slovak Republic, which can be selected as an ISA and IPEA for PCT International Phase applications from those countries as well as Lithuania.