The National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP) of Vietnam will begin accepting Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) requests again on April 3, 2017.
As reported last year, the NOIP signed a PPH agreement with the Japanese Patent Office to provide a new avenue for accelerated patent examination in Vietnam. The pilot program is scheduled to last for three years, from April 1, 2016, until March 31, 2019, and is limited to 100 PPH requests per year.
For the first year, the number of PPH requests reached 100 in August 2016, and the NOIP stopped receiving requests. The NOIP will start receiving PPH requests for the second year on April 3, 2017, as mentioned above. As the number of requests is still limited to 100, those wishing to file PPH requests in 2017 should take necessary steps to file soon.
Tilleke & Gibbins filed eight PPH requests last year on behalf of our clients. Three of the patents have already been granted, and one will be granted shortly, attesting to the effectiveness of this pilot program.